August 20th, 2018

Ess, Ess/ Eat, Eat!

For almost any time of day, a versatile, colorful super-simple saute

Joe Yonan

By Joe Yonan The Washington Post

Published Jan. 30, 2017

For almost any time of day, a versatile, colorful super-simple saute
  Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Here's another beans-and-greens treatment for those of you who collect them the way I do. It's a stripped-down saute of rainbow chard, garlic and white beans, plus a little salt and pepper. And it might not seem like much. But there are some special touches.

In the root-to-leaf spirit, you use the chard stems along with the leaves, but you treat them separately so they keep a little (but not too much) of their crunch. The leaves get barely cooked, because chard is almost as tender as spinach, and you don't want the greens to disintegrate. The high proportion of minced garlic makes for a nice punch.

Best of all, the dish is so versatile, it comes close to staple status. Eat it by itself as a side dish; over grains in a bowl; spread on toast with yogurt for a light lunch; or tossed with pasta and perhaps a little of the cooking water and cheese for a hearty supper. As soon as you taste it, other uses will come to mind, no doubt.


3 or 4 servings, Healthy

This quick saute makes for a satisfying light lunch or hearty side dish. Add bread or the grain of your choice to turn it into a meal.


1 bunch (1 pound) rainbow chard

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed

3 cloves garlic, minced

One 15-ounce can (1 1/2 cups) no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Wash and pat or spin-dry the chard. Strip the leaves from the stems, reserving the stems. Cut the leaves into 1 1/2-inch pieces and the stems into 1/2-inch slices.

Pour the oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the chard stems and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the stem pieces become slightly tender yet still have a little crunch, 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and the chard leaves; cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the leaves wilt.

Stir in the beans; cook just until they are heated through, 2 minutes. (They may pick up a blush color from the chard stems.)

Season with the pepper, taste, and add more salt, as needed. Serve hot.

Nutrition | Per serving (based on 4): 130 calories, 7 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 410 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar