Author Notes: Inspired by a salad my husband and I shared at one of our favorite local restaurants, Stone Park Cafe, this is a bright, grassy tangle of chard, tossed with coarse, fresh breadcrumbs crisped with just a whisper of garlic in a generous amount of olive oil. A lemon dressing and a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese gave it brightness and depth. —Merrill Stubbs
Serves: 4 as a starter
bunch Swiss chard
cup extra virgin olive oil
cups fresh breadcrumbs
clove garlic, minced
cup grated Parmesan
- Wash and dry the chard and remove the stems from the leaves. Set aside. Zest and juice the lemon.
- Combine the lemon juice (you should have about 2 1/2 tablespoons), 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest and a few generous pinches of salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Set aside.
- Warm the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they are crisp and golden brown (about 5 minutes). Be careful not to burn them! Stir in the garlic and let them toast for another minute, then remove from the heat.
- Separate the chard leaves from their stems. Finely chop the stems. Stack a few of the leaves on top of each other, roll them like a cigar and cut the cigar into thin (1/8-inch) ribbons. Repeat until all the leaves are shredded. Put the chard stems and leaves into a large bowl and toss gently with the Parmesan and about 2/3 of the lemon dressing. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Toss in the toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.
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