Swiss chard Italian style

This is how we used to cook it in Italy. It's delicious by itself, or try it with poached eggs and some boiled potatoes.

  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional), chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-5 tomatoes (or half a tin of tomatoes)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard or ruby chard

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until they are transparent.

If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel them: prick them with the tip of a knife, pour boiling water over them and after a minute or two the skin should come off easily. Tinned tomatoes are OK too, but I prefer to buy the whole tinned tomatoes, as we did in Italy. Chop the tomatoes roughly before adding them, or put them whole into the saucepan with the onions and break them up with a wooden spoon.

Leave to cook gently while you wash the chard, discard any that is bruised or discoloured, and tear it into fairly large pieces, slicing the stems into 2 inch (5 cm) chunks. Add the chard (including the stems) to the saucepan, cover it and cook gently for 10 or 15 minutes, until it is done. Check it during cooking to see that it hasn't boiled dry, but I nearly always find that the moisture of the tomatoes and chard is enough. When the chard is cooked, stir it all together and serve piping hot.