Sautéed Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts

M-J's Sautéed Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts
M-J's Sautéed Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts

Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007

Cook one head of separated Swiss chard leaves in rapidly boiling, salted water (blanch them) for two minutes. Drain and dry the Swiss chard leaves, then chop them into bite-sized pieces with a French chef’s knife. In a hot frying pan, put three tablespoons of olive oil and one half-teaspoon of powdered red chile or one half-teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.  When the  oil has turned red, add a quarter-teaspoon of Himalayan salt, and one-half cup of pine nuts (piñon, pignolia).  Cook until pine nuts are toasted and reddish, then remove from the oil. Add the chopped chard and sautée until soft enough to eat. Toss the Swiss chard with the toasted red pine nuts and serve. This makes an excellent accompaniment to chicken.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007

Swiss Chard Leaves: Elegant and Inexpensive Substitutes for Corn Husks

Making tamales at home is made less expensive and more elegant by using Swiss chard leaves instead of the now-expensive dried corn husks. You will need a bag of masa made especially for tamale-making, and a pot with a metal stand or steaming basket inside of it. Tamale filling is up to your own taste and creativity. Chopped green chiles combined with Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese is tasty as a vegetarian version of tamales. Chopped or shredded, leftover roast beef or pork,  spiced with some red chile powder is a meat-eater’s treat.  Spread masa and water mixture onto a leaf in a rectangle (bags of masa come with such instructions). Lay filling on masa, and roll together the contents to seal it. You may tie ends together with string.  Swiss chard tamale wrappers will be edible after you have steamed the tamales for forty minutes. This is a prudent, tasteful  and nutritious method of preparing tamales.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton and Elegant Survival, January 2009