Dad's favorite vegetarian Italian stew is loaded with Swiss Chard, fresh chopped tomatoes and yellow potatoes, then it's gently simmered in a delicious broth made with fresh herbs and vegetable stock. Swiss Chard is so good in this stew, you'll want to eat it for days! So make extra!
We grew up eating Swiss chard our entire lives. This vegetable was mostly popular among the Mediterranean countries, and surprisingly, not too many people are familiar with this healthy "green." Swiss chard is definitely among the power-food vegetables, ranking high on the top of the scale, containing polyphenol antioxidants as much as broccoli, spinach and kale.
Swiss chard is a tall leafy green vegetable with long and thick stalks that comes in white or red and has wide fan-like green leaves. The white stems are crunchy and sweet after you cook them for a few minutes, but the red stalks tend to be tough and need more cooking time. We prefer to use only the white stems in the stew and discard the red ones.
Swiss chard is rich in vitamins K, A and C and low in calories, and with its good supply of calcium and magnesium, along with the vitamin K, it provides excellent bone support and health. Need I say more? Swiss chard has so many benefits, we should all be eating more of this healthy "green."
Our mom often makes this stew for dad especially for those meatless nights and on a cool evening. The stew takes about 30 minutes to make and ready to serve. It's pure comfort food for dad, and for us as well. We hope you'll try it! Enjoy!
Dad's Favorite Vegetarian-Italian Stew
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 small russet potatoes- peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large (or 2 medium) ripe tomato - chopped
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/8 tsp. dried or fresh oregano
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 5 to 6 leaves fresh basil
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- grated Reggiano-Parmigiano cheese, for the table
In a 2 to 3-Quart sauce pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onions and sauté for about
5 minutes. Add chopped potatoes, tomato, salt, dried oregano, fresh basil and crushed red pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, occasionally stirring.
Add broth. Cover with a lid. Simmer stew for additional 10 minutes, until potatoes are done, al-dente, or when a fork can easily slide into the potatoes.
In the meantime, take the Swiss chard, remove and chop only white stalks from bottom about 1/2 -inch thick. Discard red stalks. Chop the greens, starting at the top, then across, cutting about 2-inch apart sections. Slice away and discard any large stems/stalks in the center of the leaves as well, to shorten the cooking time (you mostly want the greens for this stew).
Submerge the chopped chard into a bowl of cold water and rinse the chard 2 to 3 times, depending how much soil you may find.
Place the chard into a colander to drain slightly. No need spin to remove water.
Add wet Swiss chard to the stew and cover. Continue to simmer until chard has wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir once or twice to blend. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes to cool down a bit.
Uncover, and taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle stew into individual bowls. Serve with grated parmesan cheese at the table.
Yields: 2 to 4 servings
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