Sauteed Chard with Prosciutto

Lately, I’ve been trying to get more leafy greens into my diet.  I eat spinach – on a pizza, tossed into a pasta or grain dish (see my Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Spinach), or on sandwiches – but I wanted to expand my green horizons.  So I decided to tackle chard.  The prosciutto and garlic in this recipe give the chard so much flavor I could eat a big bowl of this by itself!  Using meat as a condiment is genius!!  This recipe will turn even the pickiest eater into a chard fan…

Sauteed Chard

This is originally an Anne Burrell recipe (Thanks Anne!).  She calls for bacon, but I had prosciutto in the fridge so that’s what I used.  It worked wonderfully!  I’ve also tried this recipe with pancetta, but it doesn’t come out as well.  If you really want to use pancetta, use 3-4 slices of pancetta for each slice of prosciutto.  (Update: I have now tried it with bacon and it works really well – maybe better than the prosciutto.  Which meat I use depends on whether I have prosciutto leftover from another recipe, otherwise I go with bacon.)  Another note, the original recipe calls specifically for Swiss chard, but when I’ve wanted to make it my grocery store hasn’t had the Swiss variety.  I’ve tried it with both red chard and rainbow chard with good results – plus rainbow chard is so pretty!  Enjoy!

Sauteed Chard with Prosciutto

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 4


1 bunch Chard (6-8 leaves)
Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic
pinch Red Pepper Flakes
2 slices Prosciutto or Bacon, chopped
1/2 c. Chicken Broth

1.  Trim chard leaves from their stems, and cut the leaves into strips 1 inch wide.  Wash stems and cut into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces.

Chop ChardChop Chard 2

2.  Place your leaves in a colander and rinse well.  Once your leaves are washed, remove as much moisture from them as possible.  You could use a salad spinner if you have one.  If you don’t have one there is another technique you can use.  I pile my leaves on a kitchen towel, grab all four corners in one hand, and spin the towel over my head.  It works well and it’s pretty fun, kinda like a cowgirl getting ready to throw a lasso.  One word of warning, it will splatter water around the room so you want to be careful around electronics.

Note: These first two steps are my preference.  You could wash and dry your leaves before trimming and cutting them, but I find the leaves large and unwieldy this way.  Plus, the whole leaves are very difficult to dry.

3.  Put enough olive oil in a large saute pan to lightly coat the bottom (usually ~2 turns of the pan).  Peel and lightly crush your garlic cloves and add them to the pan (I was making a double batch below – that’s why there’s 4 garlic cloves instead of 2).  Add your red pepper flakes and heat the pan over medium heat.

Roast Garlic

4.  Once the bottom of the garlic cloves are golden brown, flip them and cook until the other side is golden brown.  Discard cloves and add prosciutto or bacon to the pan.

5.  Cook until the prosciutto or bacon is crisp (prosciutto cooks quickly so keep an eye on it – it won’t take long) then add the stems and broth to the pan.

Cook Stems

6.  Once most of the liquid is driven off, add the leaves to the pan (See why you need a big one?).

7.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until the leaves are lightly wilted.  This should only take a couple minutes.  If you overcook your leaves they will turn into a slimy blob (very unappetizing!).

Sauteed Chard

8.  Remove from the pan immediately (you don’t want your leaves to keep cooking) and serve.  It’s best warm!

Sauteed Chard


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