It's been one heck of a wet spring here in Louisville. I'm not a big fan. Nick's not a big fan. And even the dog looks outside on the 5th rainy day in a row and seems to be thinking, "really?". Our garden, however, seems to be shouting, "Thank you!".
I have to rephrase that. It's not really "our" garden. Nick has done the majority of work in it this spring and we're already reaping the benefits of his backbreaking labor.
So far we've dined on things like sweet, sweet spring peas, delicious broccoli, crisp boston lettuce and just about the most beautiful vegetable I've ever seen...rainbow swiss chard.
Look at this vegetable! Just look at it! It's beautiful isn't it? Some people take pictures of their rose bushes. Some folks snap photos of their tulips. I, personally, can't stop photographing this damn chard.
I haven't posted a recipe in a while but I couldn't resist sharing this with you. It's not even a recipe. It's 4 ingredients, a little salt, a little pepper, a whole lot of flavor, and a great way to cook any leafy green you've got.
Swiss Chard & White Beans
-1/2 cup dried white beans
-1 bunch fresh swiss chard
-2 cups stock(chicken, pork, veg., whatever)
-2 or 3 strips bacon
You have to start this recipe the night before, unless you want to use canned beans(which I do often as well). I, however, prefer dried beans if possible.
The night before, soak a handful or two of beans in water. The beans will soak up a lot of water during the night so be sure you cover them with plenty of it. Just stick the soaking beans in the fridge and forget about them until the next day.
About an hour before dinner drain the beans and throw them in a pot of simmering stock. Simmer slowly for about 45 mins. If the stock level gets low just add some water. Meanwhile, render a few strips of bacon, low and slow in a pan. When the bacon is done remove from the pan but don't drain the fat from the pan. When the beans are tender throw them in the bacon fat along with some roughly chopped swiss chard. Toss quickly, add a smidge of the stock into the pan to loosen the pieces of bacon stuck to the bottom of the pan, salt and pepper to taste, and you're done!
You can crumble the bacon on top at the end or save it for breakfast the next morning. You can wilt the chard slightly or completely. You can use a ratio of more beans to chard or more chard to beans. You can tweak it to your liking. It's good in the summer, winter, spring and fall. It's my go-to dish when I need to use up any greens. It's delicious.
My vegan brother can even omit the bacon and boil the beans in vegetable stock. It won't have that smokey finish but it will still be yummy.