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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Did I mention I used to be a teacher?

Hello class, we are having a pop quiz today. Clear your desk of everything but a pencil. Keep your eyes on your own paper, and no talking, please.

There is just one question, and it's fill-in-the-blank.

For a delicious side dish, put some _____________ in a pan, and sauté it with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese.


You get an A.

Because you can fill that blank in with anything (spinach, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, roof shingles, crazy Aunt Tilly), and you will indeed get a delicious side dish. Studies have shown this to be true.

Now stay with me (we'll get back to your quiz results in a moment). This week, one of the veggies that made me feel a little nervous was the chard. Not really knowing what to do with chard, I went with the usual plan of attack: whine about it with anyone who would listen. They all said "Sauté it with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese." Well, okay, let me be truthful for a moment here. Not everyone said that. Some people said,"Sauté it with butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese."

But here is the thing. If you have to take this vegetable, and sauté it with oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese, just to make it palatable, that doesn't really make it any better than roof shingles. Studies have shown. It just doesn't make any sense to cook it at all. You might as well just saute garlic and parmesan cheese with no chard, and eat that. I can only imagine it would be better.

But, here I was with a big, beautiful bunch of chard, a family to feed, and not a whole lot of time to cook dinner.

So, I put the chard in a pan and sauteed it with garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan.

And it was delicious!

I have to warn you, though. Even though your original bunch looks like enough chard to feed all of the vegetarians at UC Berkely, it will cook down into a teeny tiny little bit. As in, such a small amount that I didn't even share with the kids. Nope, I kept it all to myself.