Filed under: in the kitchen
I went into a boutique grocery store downtown yesterday for a steak and some spinach. I got both of those, but there was no way I was walking out of there without chard too once this bunch of red beauty caught my eye. I don’t cook with chard nearly as much as I’d like to, especially after the swiss chard in my summer garden was immolated by aphids. When I do get it, it’s a treat.
To honor the chard, I decided to combine it with two more ingredients in the kitchen that qualified as “treats” to me: blood orange infused olive oil and a package of mango chicken sausage.
Blood Orange and Mango Red Chard
- two mango chicken sausages (I used 1/2 package Chef Bruce Aidell’s brand)
- one bunch fresh red chard
- blood orange infused olive oil (I used a brand called Mosaic which pointed me to this website, but I don’t see it there. Here’s some instead.)
- balsamic vinegar
Slice the sausage. See that mango chunk? Yum.
Rinse the chard well, trim off the stalks, and tear the leaves into 2″ to 3″ pieces.
Cut the stalks into 1/2″ pieces, like you would celery.
Heat a large stirfry or chef’s pan on high, along with a tablespoon of plain olive oil. Brown the sausage, both sides. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add chard stems and cook, covered, for five minutes, stirring frequently, until stems begin to soften. You may add a tablespoon or two of water to help steam the stems and keep things from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When stems have started to soften, add the chard leaves. Cook for an additional seven to ten minutes until the leaves wilt and the center vein of the leaves is no longer tough. Use the same method of covering and steaming, with frequent stirring. Again, add small amounts of water if necessary.
All this cooking really brings out the sweetness of the sausage – everything in the pan starts to taste like it’s glazed with honey. That’s where the following vinaigrette comes in, to balance out the sweetness with a little zing.
While chard is cooking, mix three parts blood orange olive oil to one part balsamic vinegar in a clean glass jar. Close jar lid tightly and shake vigorously until oil and vinegar incorporate.
Dish chard and sausage into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle lightly with vinaigrette (refrigerate leftover vinaigrette and use on salads). Toss gently and enjoy!
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