Slow-cooked chard

Cooked slowly in olive oil, the chard leaves turn inky black, contrasting with the creamy stalks beautifully.

2 bunches of Swiss chard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Put a large saucepan of well-salted water on to boil. Wash the chard well under cold, running water and shake off the excess, then cut the leaves from the stalks into short lengths.

Once the water is boiling, plunge in the stalks and cook for three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander. Now add the leaves to the boiling water (in which the stalks were cooked) and cook for one minute, then drain thoroughly. Chop the leaves when they are cool enough to handle.

Place a clean, dry saucepan on a low heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add all the chard and a good pinch of salt. Put on the lid and cook gently for 30 minutes until very soft, stirring from time to time. Taste for seasoning, adding a little salt if necessary; a good grinding of pepper is essential. Serve hot.

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