When it comes to winter greens (we're looking at you, kale, chard, and collards), it's easy to fall back on the familiar: garlic and olive oil or bacon and onions. A few short minutes in the sauté pan and those combos make for quick, easy sides that never fail to satisfy and fill in that "we should really be eating more greens" void. But after so many years of going the same route with greens, I think it's about time to try something new.
This plate of Swiss Chard Braised in Shiitake Butter from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Home Cooking with Jean-Georges is my new go-to greens recipe. Just five ingredients and under ten minutes from prep to plate, this recipe produces greens that are truly mind blowing. It's a dead simple process of briefly softening earthy shiitakes and thyme in a bit of butter, tossing in slivered chard and finishing the plate off with a bit more butter to glaze. The shiitakes give the butter coated greens a distinct savoriness, the thyme lends light woody notes, and the chard, well, the chard just sits back and takes it all in.
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:10 minutes
- 9 ounces Swiss chard, very thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 fresh shiitake mushroom caps, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, cover the chard with cold water. Swish it around to remove all of the grit, then lift it out into a colander. Repeat if the chard is very dirty. (Don’t spin it dry—you want the water clinging to the leaves.)
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Before the butter completely melts, add the shiitakes and thyme. Season with a little salt and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Reduce the heat to low and add the chard. Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until just tender and wilted, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are very tender and almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook, stirring, until the butter melts and the greens are glazed, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.