Marinated Rainbow Chard from 'Franny's'


[Photograph: John von Pamer]

I often forget that vegetables perform just as well as proteins in a marinade, taking on new, deeper flavors as they rest with the chosen dressing. In fact, mild greens like swiss chard often taste best when paired with sharp and tangy sauces. This marinated rainbow chard recipe from the Franny's cookbook is a perfect example. Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens, and Melissa Clark treat the vegetable in two stages, cooking the long stems in garlic-scented olive oil and vinegar before tossing them with the quickly wilted greens and extra oil and vinegar. After 20 minutes (or longer, if you'd like) in the marinade, the chard glitters with oil and carries the punchy sweetness of the vinegar.

Why I picked this recipe: Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens: it has more flavor than spinach, but cooks up in no time.

What worked: Another simple Franny's success, this vegetable side highlights the suppleness of the greens and tender chew of the stems.

What didn't: I thought that the whole leaves were a little annoying to eat, so I'd cut them into bite-sized pieces next time. I'd also go up on vinegar a bit when dressing the greens for more punch.

Suggested tweaks: You can substitute any tender green for the chard, but you may not want to follow the same treatment for the stems. Give the greens a squeeze to remove excess water before mixing them with the marinade and stems. If you can't find moscato vinegar, whisk together 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 1/2 teaspoons honey, and 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar to use as a substitute.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Franny's to give away this week.