Braised Chard with Cilantro

braised chardDon’t be scared by the long cooking time…sometimes a slow braise deepens the flavor of vegetables more so than a quick sauté. The chard cooks down, so this side dish is meant to add flavor with a few spoonfuls. The complex flavors will go nicely with lentils, rice, or any grilled meats.

2 large bunches chard, about 2 pounds, leaves sliced into 1 inch ribbons.

1 ½ cups of the chard stems, trimmed and diced

1 onion, finely diced

½ cup chopped cilantro

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a wide, heavy-bottomed pot with a few pinches of salt. Add ¼ cup water, cover tightly, and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Check two or three times to make sure there is enough moisture. If anything is sticking, add a few tablespoons water. When done, taste for salt and season with pepper. The chard should be silky and very fragrant.