Leftover Make-over: Base Recipe "Swiss Chard and Potatoes" Part 1

April 16, 2022

How many of you have seen Lidia Bastianich’s cooking shows on PBS?

I love her, her recipes and stories. One of my favorite side dish from her classic, “Lidia’s Italian Table” is “Swiss Chard and Potatoes”.

Her portion is very generous, just like she is, and this one is not an exception. This is supposed to serve only 6, but could serve a lot more. You can half the recipe, and even then you have to eat it everyday for days and days, especially if your family size is relatively small like ours.

As she states in her book, the flavor of this dish improves when it’s made in advance and reheated. Perfect for Kitchen Wizardry!

So how about giving a make-over to this leftover? My kitchen experiments proved to me that you can enjoy this in many different forms for days – breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner without getting bored or, most importantly getting noticed that it’s the same swiss chard and potato dish you made several days ago!

Today is Part 1. Base recipe from Lidia Bastianich’s “Lidia’s Italian Table), and a Kitchen Wizard bonus recipe Lidia didn’t tell you…

Base recipe: Swiss Chard and Potatoes

  1. Remove the chard (2 lbs) stem from the leaves, and cut both ½” thick.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water (4 qts), add potatoes (3 medium size Idaho peeled and cut crosswise into quarters) and cook for 10 min.
  3. Add the swiss chard and cook till very tender, 20-30 min. Drain in a colander. (KW: Save the potato water for another recipe. See below.)
  4. In a large skillet, heat 2 TB olive oil, cook garlic until it begins to brown. Add the vegetables, S&P lightly. Cook, stirring and mashing the potatoes until the liquid has evaporated and potatoes are coarsely mashed.
  5. Add remaining 2 TB olive oil, season to taste with S&P. Serve hot.

Now here’s a Kitchen Wizard’s Bonus soup recipe Lidia didn’t tell you…

  1. Use only enough water to cover the potatoes by an extra 1” when cooking.
  2. When the potatoes and chard are tender, drain water, and save it for soup.
  3. You can either eat this potato broth as soup by adding S&P, or add a little EVOO, butter, cream, etc.

Variation: Caldo Verde, Portuguese national soup: Add thinly shredded cabbage or kale, and slices of chorizo and heat until the greens are tender.

Stay tuned… We’ll talk about all the fun variations tomorrow.

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