(Photo courtesy of Loretta McElwee and used by permission.)
When my friend and fellow co-op member Loretta McElwee passed along her friend Nat Hale's recipe to me a couple of weeks ago, I admit I wasn't particularly open-minded about it:
"Cheese, butter and rum with chard? Delicate, perfect-just-as-it-is-the-way-the-Universe-intended-it chard? Sacrilege, that's what it is."
Then she then made it herself and sent me the photos, such as the one above, and I decided that perhaps I could be seduced, after all. (Apparently I am easy, if not necessarily cheap. Or am I cheap but not easy? Just ask my friend Miss B.)
Loretta wrote in her email to me: "I made this twice - once with goat cheese, which I didn't care for, and once with Havarti which I loved!" Nat's recipe simply calls for "soft cheese" and he suggests a few options; so follow Loretta's lead in choosing one that you prefer. When I asked her about the butter, she thought that it could be omitted and olive oil used by itself without affecting the recipe. (I had no problem with the cheese and rum, but freaked over the butter? No, I don't understand it, either.)
Nat Hale's Swiss Chard with Soft Cheese, Balsamic and Rum
1 bunch swiss chard, any variety
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. spiced rum
2 tbsp. of soft cheese, such as goat cheese, or havarti
Wash the chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Tear the leaves into bit sized pieces and cut up the stems. In a deep skillet, heat the butter and olive oil. When butter melts, add garlic. Add wine and chard stems. Cover and cook on medium until stems are soft.
Add chard leaves. Cover and cook until the leaves have reduced in size and most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir occasionally; reduce the heat if you plan to leave unattended.
Add balsamic vinegar, spiced rum, and cheese. Cover until cheese melts. Serve.
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Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.