The first time I ate this dish was at one of my favourite cafes in Sydney, Single Origin, on a cold day. I fell in love with the rich and hearty flavours of this stew (made solely from vegetables). Since I had so much silver beet and chard growing in my garden at the time, it was not long until I tried to recreate the dish at home to serve on some crusty spelt sourdough that my boyfriend would bake each week (lucky me). So here it is: my version of Single Origin’s stewed chard on toast.
Stewed Chard on Toast
You will need:
a large bunch of fresh silver beet / swiss chard / beetroot leaves / or a combination of each
a few cloves of garlic (depending on how garlicky you like things), crushed and skins removed
2 large onions, sliced into half rings
2 big handfuls of cherry tomatoes
light olive oil for cooking
a knob of butter (grass fed if you can)
salt and black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
a hard cheese like pecorino / parmesan / manchego / or a hard goat’s cheese
extra butter for spreading on toast
extra black pepper
Trim off any brown ends on the vegetables and cut along the bunch in 2″ pieces with a sharp knife (try to keep the stalks separate from the leafy ends because they will cook at different rates). Wash thoroughly to remove soil and any creepy crawlies then drain in a colander. Slice the onions, crush the garlic, and set aside. Wash the cherry tomatoes, and halve any that are much larger than the size of a grape.
In a large, heavy based pan heat some light olive oil with a knob of butter on a medium heat. Add the onions and sweat them until they are translucent. (You don’t want them to brown so if they start to sizzle too violently, lower the heat). Once translucent, add the garlic and vegetable stalks to sauté further. When the stalks are a little soft, add the leaves & tomatoes and cover with the lid (to let the steam wilt the leaves). Stir from time to time to prevent anything from burning on the bottom of the pan. It shouldn’t be long until the leafy greens are soft, and the skins of the tomatoes are a little shrivelled. Season to taste with salt and pepper, turn off the heat, and cover with the lid.
Toast some thick, crusty bread and spread on some butter (or if you’re me, a lot of butter). Pile your stewed vegetables onto the bread, shave on some cheese (i use a vegetable peeler), drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle on some more black pepper.
A quick and warming lunch for a bunch of hungry friends.