Ciao'd after packing for a trip back East to visit la famiglia. Cue the mortadella. 



Today I picked our first "crop" of Swiss chard. The leaves were not only tender they were a lovely, almost translucent green, too. I prefer chard with white stalks and these did not disappoint. They were crunchy and juicy, a harmonious textural counterpoint to the gentle leaves. Marcella Hazan joins me in the Swiss chard love fest. She, like me, celebrates that chard leaves, simply cooked, make a lovely side dish. Marcella calls the dish a salad (not sure why but, okay). Here's her super-duper simple recipe that tastes super, too. Cuz yeah, Marcella.

Serves 4 to 6

2 bunches young Swiss chard or the leaves of 3 large bunches of mature Swiss chard
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 or more tablespoons fresh lemon juice

If you are using young chard, detach the stems. If you are using mature chard, pull the leaves from the stalks, discarding any wilted or discolored leaves. Wash well and drain. 

Put the chard in a pan with whatever water clings to the leaves. Add 1 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 to 18 minutes from the time the liquid starts to bubble. 

Drain in a colander and gently press some of the water out the chard with the back of a fork. Place in a salad bowl. 

Serve cool (not refrigerated) or lukewarm, seasoning with salt, oil, and lemon just before ready to serve.  Recipe gently adapted from Marcella Hazan, The Classic Italian Cookbook, Ballantine Books, 1973