Swiss Chard & Persimmon Sautée
Swiss chard, persimmons, pomegranate seeds and walnuts make a very inviting way of enjoying winter greens in this colorful festive dish!
Swiss chard is at its best in the fall and winter months. It has a full flavor, naturally salty, a little peppery, slight sweetness and and a touch of bitter, so good. In the warmer months Swiss chard can be more bitter and less of the other flavors. Even the stems are good and so vibrant in color. Rainbow Swiss chard which usually has a few stalks of each color, white, yellow, orange and red is perfect for this dish. But, but any single color or mix will do fine.
Swiss chard bunches tend to be larger from the Farmers market than the produce section of grocery store, so you may want two bunches if the bunches are small 8–10 stalks.
Both the young tender Swiss chard and more mature Swiss chard work well for this dish. The cooking time will vary for both the Swiss chard stems and the leaves, depending on the age and tenderness of the chard. Young small stems will wilt and cook faster than the tall older stalks. Total cooking time ranges from 10 to 20 minutes.
Persimmons are in season at the same time as Swiss chard and bring the expression “if it grows together, it goes together” home. Persimmons start coming in the Farmers markets in late October and continue to be available through December. The most common persimmons available are the Fuyu which is a non-astringent variety and the Hachiya which is astringent (makes your mouth pucker when you eat it). I recommend Fuyu persimmons for this dish because they are firm and hold their texture in the sautee.
Fuyu persimmons will turn really bright orange as they heat through (so pretty). The persimmon slices cook quickly, so adding them at the end for just a couple minutes will be enough. Persimmons are what make the cinnamon really work in this dish. They almost taste like they have cinnamon even before adding the cinnamon. The salty, mineral taste of the Swiss chard is complimented by the sweet spiciness of the persimmons.
Garnish Toppings for the Swiss Chard & Persimmon Sautee
The pomegranate seeds, persimmon wedges and toasted walnut are garnish, but really add finesse to the final dish and bring so much color to the table. The pomegranate seeds give a lovely burst of fruity, citrus brightness. The persimmon wedges add extra sweetness and a vibrant orange color. Persimmons get softer in texture and more saturated in color after they have been cut. Toasted walnuts add a crunch and nuttiness.
The platter is very festive and looks beautiful as a side dish at a Holiday table. Swiss Chard & Persimmon Sautee goes beautifully with the Red Lentil with Ginger and Carrot soup. For a great appetizer, reserve about two cups or so to make the Swiss Chard & Creamy Almond Ricotta Pizza the next day or within a couple days.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- chef knife
- large cutting board
- wok style pan or large sautee pan
- flat edge spatula (wooden works well)