Serious Eats: Recipes

The Secret Ingredient (Cranberry): Braised Rainbow Chard with Cranberries

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

The mighty little cranberry continues to fascinate me the more I investigate into its background. Did you know that only 5% of cranberries are sold fresh? And from my perspective, I only see that 5% from November to December. So, we need recipes that use the other 95% of harvested cranberries that are turned into juices and sauces, and, as we use them in this recipe, dried cranberries.

Everyone knows Thanksgiving is really all about the sides. I usually wind up making more sides than there are guests at my table.

What I love about this braised rainbow chard is how festive it is. So many recipes call for us to discard the stems, but when they are ruby red and beautiful, I just can't bear the thought. They match the season and the cranberries in the dish, while adding a contrasting hearty texture, so I braise the stems first with garlic and onions and dried cranberries, and add the leaves just to wilt at the very last moment. The result is a sweet-savory combination that is healthy and delicious, and festive. It just looks like Thanksgiving, and is a light cornerstone to any overstocked plate. And if you're not making it on Thanksgiving, and want to jazz it up, I recommend crumbled over a touch of fresh goat cheese just before serving, to add creaminess and tang.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.

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