As January fast approaches, we all start to think about healthy diets and how to fulfill those new year resolutions!  This recipe is one of those with all the benefits of good food and none of the pain, as it takes a disgustingly healthy ingredient (chard) and adds sweetness, flavour and fun.  I got the recipe from Denis Cotter and his wonderful book, Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me, but as always didn’t have quite the right ingredients, so made a few adjustments.  Denis Cotter serves this dish stirred into couscous, but it was a delicious light lunch served with quinoa, and made a great side dish to sausages and mash!

Here’s to a wonderful, healthy and tasty 2013!


Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Lemon

85g (3oz) raisins
1kg (2 1/4 lb) chard, including stalks
Olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
A little stock or water

First toast the pine nuts if not already done.  Then soak the raisins in just enough water to cover them for 10 minutes.

Separate the chard leaves and stalks.  Slice the stalks across about 5mm (1/4in) thick.  Cook the leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes, until soft, drain and rinse under cold running water.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan and cook the chard stalks, onion and garlic for 5 minutes over a medium heat.  Add the spices and cook for a few minutes more, then stir in the chard leaves, pine nuts and the raisins in their soaking liquid.  Add a little stock or water if necessary to keep the dish moist.  Add the lemon zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper.