Don’t be put off by the long cooking time–in the end the flavor goes far beyond what’s possible with a cursory blanching.  A few spoonfuls suffice for a serving, or you can use this effectively as a seasoning for rice or lentils.  Serves 4

2 large bunches chard, about 2 pounds, leaves sliced into 1 inch wide ribbons
1 1/2 cups of the chard stems, trimmed and diced
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove pounded with 1 teaspoon salt
Salt and freshly milled pepper


Place all ingredients in a wide, heavy pot with a few pinches of salt. Add 1/4 cup water, cover tightly, and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Check once or twice to make sure there’s enough moisture. If anything is sticking, add a few tablespoons of water. When done, taste for salt and season with pepper. The chard should be silky and very fragrant.