Simply Superb Italian-style Swiss Chard

It's murky in here. The kitchen light is broken, and nobody intends to fix it yet. Not that I don't want to, but the ceiling is almost four meters in height and I'm kinda high-phobic. Not in freaky way though. It's just every time I stepped a little higher above the ground my feet shakes and gives me anxiety. But I still enjoyed my every flight, it's a different circumstance.

Anyway, the situation reminds me of a cafĂ©, here in Bandung, which concept is serving customers to eat in darkness. They said that it is a more sensational eating experience. Well, I think we—me and my housemates—'ve beat them. Not only eating, we've been cooking in dark too for the last three days. I don't know which one is more sensational: trying to scoop the food that barely visible, or trying not to cut our fingers instead of onion, or burn our food for that matter..

Thereupon I prefer cook an easy dish today. I have two packs of Swiss chard (also known as silverbeet or spinach beet), one ruby and one yellow, that I bought yesterday from the food market. As a matter of fact, I never cooked chard before because it is quite hard to find here. But I've read somewhere (I forgot, sorry) on the web that chard is garlic's and chili flakes' best friend, this is said to be Italian-style chard. So I'm experimenting..

Italian-style Swiss chard.

Italian-style Swiss Chard

  • 75 g spaghetti
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 150 g Swiss chard (stem removed, separate leaves from stalks, cut both into one-inches)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 medium-sized chili flakes (finely chopped)
  • a pinch of salt
  • grated Parmesan cheese (or cheddar cheese)
  • Italian parsley leaves for serving

Preparation method:
  1. In a large pan, boil spaghetti with salt until al dente.
  2. Heat a skillet, put in olive oil, strain the spaghetti straight into the pan, season with black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Bring water into boil, put in chard stalks and cook for one minute. Add the leaves and cook it for another minute.
  4. Saute garlic with olive oil, add chili flakes until aromatic. Turn off heat, add chard and toss until all covered with oil, season with salt.
  5. In a plate, arrange spaghetti and put the chard on top. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley leaves.
Yield 1 serve.

No wonder if Swiss chard is called spinach beet, for it is indeed taste like spinach with beet stalk. The ruby chard also gives magenta nuance to the dish, just like beet. So my spaghetti has a beautiful purple-pink vibe.

Magenta-nuanced spaghetti.

I gotta tell you this is my favorite. Superb simple dish! I have looked up for chard nutritions here, and turned out that it has high nutrition benefits for blood sugar, antioxidant and bone health. So it is not only simple, but also healthy food. Oh, this is so brightening my day. Yum!

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