Baby Kale and Chard Saute

My garden is growing fast, and I have started harvesting some vegetables: peas, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, zucchini, lettuce, herbs, and a few tomatoes.  After all the work that went into planting, it is nice to finally start reaping the rewards of my labor!  This year I more than tripled the size of my kale and swiss chard patch.  I like my greens.  There is nothing like going outside before dinner to pick some kale and swiss chard.  My kale and chard plants are not quite “baby” anymore, but they are still young, with their leaves being only about half the size of mature plants.
Here is a recipe for a simple saute of the young kale and chard plants.  Because the leaves are not fully developed, you don’t have to devein them like regular kale and chard.  Usually, both plants have large, thick, veins that don’t taste great if left on.  They are thick and fibrous, not something you want to try and chew through while eating dinner.  
Usually deveining kale and swiss chard takes quite awhile.  While well worth the time, it is impossible to do if you are in a rush.  When I’m in a hurry I usually just saute some baby spinach instead to save time.  Until now.  I have a constant supply of kale and swiss chard from my garden in the fridge, and while it is still young I simply chop it up, mince some garlic, and saute it all in olive oil.  It’s that simple! I am growing two types of kale, dino and curly, as well as two types of chard, red and white. It doesn’t matter what type you use, it always comes out delicious.
Let me touch on why I am combining kale and swiss chard in this dish.  In my opinion, it’s the best of both worlds.  Kale and swiss chard are two of my favorite deep green staples, with kale slightly ahead of chard.  While both are highly nutritious in their own right, I like the peppery and earthy notes of kale that swiss chard does not have.  However, swiss chard is delicate and almost sweet with a salty undertone.  The combination is outstanding! 
Here is my lunch from a few days ago.  I made seared cajun salmon, topped it with goat cheese, and added some roasted sweet potatoes and this baby kale and chard saute to finish off the plate.  I love making a big batch of these greens so I can just heat them up when I need them instead of having to saute them every time.  Yes, they are super easy and fast to make, but nothing beats heating something up.  Check out your local farmers market for some nice young kale and chard to whip up a batch of this green goodness!
Baby Kale and Chard Saute
4 cups chopped and rinsed young kale (any variety!)
4 cups chopped and rinsed young swiss chard (any variety!)
2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
2-4 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oil and garlic on medium heat until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts to turn golden brown.  Add the greens and cook until all the greens are wilted and tender, about 3-4 minutes.
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  1. I LOVE kale. My favorite is red russian. Can't recommend it enough. It goes well straight off the plant, in a salad-sandwich-wrap-burrito-sauteed-basically you can't go wrong with it. If you just wilt the leaves in some carmelized onions and serve with a baked potato or next to some lentils, it is absolutely amazing. Do you find the chard adds anything to your dish the kale doesn't have?

  2. I find the chard to be slightly sweeter than kale, so this dish comes out a bit more mild than it would if only kale was used. To be honest, I love kale much more than chard, but I grow both and always am looking for ways to switch it up when it comes to what I eat.

    I'm very interested in red chard…does it grow the same as other kale? I have only grown the curly and dino varieties, both grow very well, and I am close to planting my fall garden. Maybe I should get some red kale seeds to try out!

    Oh my gosh. Wilted kale with caramelized onions, lentils, and baked potatoes sounds amazing! I will give that a try. I already love it, thanks for sharing!

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