Quick to put together, Blitva is loaded with health, flavor and color. This Croatian side dish of Swiss chard and potatoes pairs well with grilled fish and just about anything else you can think of.
Made with Swiss chard, this Croatian dish that is known as blitva is dark. It’s green. It’s leafy. By now we are all familiar with that trifecta of attributes that is synonymous with sound nutrition. As a whole, most of us don’t get enough of this nutritionally packed food group, largely because of it’s association with boring, dull, and tasteless. We’ve stumbled upon a an exception to this scenario. Blitva not only meets all three of those nutritionally qualifying criteria, but perhaps even more important for practical purposes, it’s fast, easy, and delicious.
As mindful parents of growing kids, we try to introduce health and nutrition into their diets, as well as our own. Sometimes we’re even successful. It’s always a bonus when we can put something together that we know is good for them and ultimately they end up not only eating it but enjoying it as well. After an initial dry run with this recipe I made it for our kids as a side and was delighted to see them not only taste it but actually eat it. I’ll admit, I felt a certain element of triumph with that experience.
Rustic, and versatile, this dish is packed with nutrition and flavor and takes just minutes to prepare. We’ve cooked with chard a time or two in the past here on Platter Talk and have featured other recipes featuring dark, green and leafy creations.
“As mindful parents of growing kids, we try to introduce health and nutrition into their diets, as well as our own. Sometimes we’re even successful.”
If you’re not familiar with chard, it’s actually a distant cousin to the ordinary garden beet. Look at the greens of the beet and the broad leaves of chard and you’ll see the family resemblance. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads while mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sautéed; their bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor which is more delicate than that of cooked spinach.
Although there are only three primary ingredients in this side dish, it has a lot going on. The chunks of yellow Yukon gold potatoes are strewn with slices of sautéed garlic, all blended together among the succulent broad but wilted leaves of the chard. A little ground pepper, a dash of salt and a splash of fresh lemon juice and you’ve got yourself a side dish of health, color, and flavor. -Dan
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- 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 lb. Swiss chard tough stems removed, tender stems and leaves torn into 2″ pieces
- juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
- Boil potatoes in a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water until tender, 5–7 minutes; drain and set aside.
- Add oil to saucepan; place over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic; cook until soft, 1–2 minutes.
- Add potatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5–7 minutes.
- Stir in Swiss chard, add lemon juice and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper