This seasonal recipe makes a lovely meal for all the family. Swiss chard may not be considered a staple in the diet of many in the UK, but it should be, especially when locally grown. Part of the beetroot family, it’s incredibly versatile and nutritious, but low in calories.
An array of vitamins and minerals gives chard an impressively broad nutrient profile – high levels of vitamins A, E, and C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin K make chard an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant hero, supporting cardiovascular systems, eye health, immunity, energy release, healing and bone building, plus a huge number of crucial processes that keep us on top form.
Many of these nutrients are only absorbed if fat is present, so be sure to cook or eat in recipes or meals that incorporate some healthy fats, like rapeseed oil, or organic butter, especially from grass fed cows. Have a go at this one, using some of the fantastic sausages produced by our Tamar Valley farms, and do your body good!
Chard with Sausage and Beans – serves 4 (alter quantities as required)
8 sausages (80% or more meat) – slice into chunks after cooking
1 large onion
1-2 garlic cloves
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed
good quality stock (chicken or veg)
seasoning to taste
Wash the chard, cutting off the stalks and setting aside. Cook the chard in the stock, just enough to cover, cooking the chard stalks first, adding the leaves when the stalk are just beginning to become tender. Drain the chard and reserve the stock when done, and set aside.
While the chard is cooking, heat some rapeseed oil in a large frying pan or saucepan, cook the sausages until a few minutes from done, then slice. Return to the pan with the onions, adding the garlic as the sausages cook through and the onions caramelise.
Add a little stock to the frying pan to deglaze, so none of the flavour is lost, and pour the sausages, onions, garlic, and deglazing liquid into the chard saucepan with the chard. Add the beans, combine well, and pour in enough of the reserved stock to have an inch or so in the pan. Bring to a simmer, and heat through for a couple of minutes. Add more stock if necessary – more stock can turn this into a broth, while simmering to heat through should reduce the liquid to create a lovely gravy.
Season to taste, and serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce. Chilli flakes, or chopped fresh herbs like parsley and oregano, are great customisations – adapt, make it your own, and enjoy!