At this time of year (ok, really at any time of year), we get bags and bags of different varieties of greens in our vegetable box. Lately it seems to be chard season. I have made chard in soup, chard in pasta, chard in frittata, chard in pretty much anything we can think of. If we were a Dr. Seuss story, we'd be the chard-belly Sneetches. Better than green eggs and ham, I suppose.
In any event, when I have too many vegetables, my go-to recipe is some variation on a stir fry. My go-to stir fry sauce is a black bean sauce that's as easy as anything that comes in a jar, and much better. I use fermented black beans that I buy at the Loon Fung grocery store in Chinatown (along with any one of a hundred varieties of soy sauce, curry cubes, or some other mysterious jar that just looks good). Just a spoonful of these beans add an incredible flavor to a dish that's impossible to mimic. Plus, they can sit in the back of the cupboard and last forever.
Swiss chard with black bean sauce
Olive or a neutral-tasting oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
small pinch dried red chili flakes
Bunch of swiss chard (about 8-10 stalks)
1/2 C. warm water
1 T. fermented black beans
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. soy sauce or tamari
Mix black beans with water.
Add just enough oil to a wok or large pan to keep garlic from sticking, then over medium heat cook garlic and ginger for a few minutes until soft. Add chili flakes, then chard, and stir fry until the greens wilt.
Add soy sauce and cornstarch to water and black beans, mixing well. Pour mixture into pan and heat through until sauce thickens.
Serve on its own or over rice.