Listen up: Swiss chard stems and ribs are a treasure—earthy, sweet, and resilient—as desirable as the ruffly leaves that surround them. Give them a head start before adding the leaves so they can soften a bit, sending vegetal juices into the pan to mingle with the garlic and olive oil. Don’t balk at the amount of olive oil here, either. The leaves will melt into the saucy cooking liquid, creating a perfect soft landing for a runny egg.
Makes 2 servings
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard, preferably rainbow
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more for serving
- 2 large eggs
Cut off bottommost, tough and fibrous ends of chard stems. Strip leaves off ribs, then wash and dry leaves and stems separately (be thorough, they may be coated in a fine, silty dirt). Thinly slice ribs and stems crosswise. Tear leaves into large pieces and set aside separately.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add chard stems and garlic, season with salt and black pepper, and cook patiently, stirring occasionally, until stems are al dente, 8–10 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and chard leaves and toss to coat with oil. Season with salt and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until leaves are bright green and very tender and stems are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Reduce heat to low to keep warm while you make the eggs.
In a medium saucepan, bring a few inches of water to a simmer. Crack eggs into separate small bowls, then slip into water, spacing 15 seconds apart. Cook, using a spoon to circulate water occasionally, until whites are set and yolks still runny, about 3 minutes.
Divide chard and pan sauce between two plates or shallow bowls and press a little divot into centers. Add an egg to each, season with salt, pepper, and more crushed red pepper and serve hot.
Recipe reprinted with permission from “Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook” by Carla Lalli Music. Published by Clarkson Potter.