Though not as well celebrated as the beginning of asparagus or tomato season, there's some real pleasure in spotting the first swiss chard at the market. Vibrantly colored, they pop out and just beg to be bought—I really can't resist them. Usually I enjoy swiss chard a side dish to some random meal, so it's nice to find this recipe from the blog Abby & Sam, which fully integrates them into a dish.
The roasted chickpeas add some nice textural difference, and the paprika and cumin help give it some depth. But it's the red wine vinegar that really perks this dish up. The sausage is kind of an afterthought here, and could be left out if you wanted a vegetarian main. That said, some good locally made lamb sausages are certainly welcome to the plate.
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, thick stalks removed
- 2 lamb sausages
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, half of the olive oil, cumin, paprika, half of the garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well, and then dump onto a baking sheet. Spread out in a single layer, and then nestle the sausage amongst the chickpeas.
Set the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
While that’s baking, chop the Swiss chard leaves. Pour the remaining olive oil into a large skillet set over high heat. Add the rest of the garlic, and let it cook for a few seconds, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Then add the chard. Season with salt and pepper, and stir often. After a minute or so, add half the vinegar. When tender, about 5 minutes or so, taste the chard to see if it needs more vinegar.
Combine the chard with the roasted chickpeas in a large bowl. Toss. Serve the the sausage over the chickpeas and chard mixture.