A great side dish to accompany any family meal.
By: Jodie Shield, RD
Last week in Chicago, I had the honor of having dinner with Food Network star Alton Brown at Table 52. Myself, and about 15 fellow bloggers, enjoyed an unforgettable “southern” meal personally prepared by the chef/owner, Art Smith. The menu featured so many delicacies; here are a few of the highlights: his mother’s famous Boarding House Biscuits, Pickled Shrimp and Corn Puree, Lamb Loin, Three-Cheese Mac, Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Braised Collard Greens, Peanut Butter and Concord Grape Panna Cotta and a surprise treat – Fried Chicken! While all of this was amazing, the real story was the sponsor for the event – Welch’s. Yep, the grape juice people. I had no idea that the Welch’s Company is owned by farmers – 1,000 committed family-farmers who have been working land that’s been in their families for generations. Or, that the concord grapes used to make Welch’s white and purple grape juices are lovingly hand picked and pressed into juice within hours of being harvested. Apparently, concord grapes can only be grown in certain climates that are mostly cold and near large bodies of water. The harvest season is very short, only a few weeks during the months of September and October.
I also had the privilege of meeting and talking with Welch’s grower-owners Elizabeth Tytka and her husband, Peter (seated in the photo below). For over, 75 years Elizabeth’s family has been farming their Sheridan, New York vineyard growing concord grapes for Welch’s. She spoke with pride about how she personally drives the tractor to harvest the grapes – once with a broken pelvis! It was a delicious evening indeed and true to form, Alton gave us a science lesson on how to cook with Welch’s grape juice. My next few blogs are going to feature some fabulous recipes I found on the Welch’s website that are super easy to prepare. This week you have got to try Sautéed Swiss Chard with Garlic. Swiss Chard is all over farmers markets right now. Not sure how to prepare this mild, earthy and sweetest of the greens? Here’s a video to help you get started. I tried this recipe with my family and it got a two-thumbs up rating. Now if only Art Smith would share his mom’s biscuit recipe!
Sautéed Swiss Chard with Garlic
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, large stems removed and leaves chopped into 3- to 4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons Welches’ 100% White Grape Juice
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and add the garlic. Stir and cook garlic for one minute.
- Add the Swiss chard, grape juice, salt and pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until stalks are tender.
- Remove from heat, garnish with ground pepper and serve warm.
Nutrition information (per serving):
95 calories, 2 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 121 milligrams sodium