Taste the rainbow

Cooking colorful rainbow chard fit for a summer plate.

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On a warm and overcast Wednesday morning, I followed the painted arrows guiding market-goers down 35 Panhandle Road. The gravel crackled under our car tires as we pulled into the large, open field of the West Tisbury Farmers Market. Temporary shopping counters and tents circled the perimeter across the grass — mowed down by shoppers’ feet. The market was bustling with Island locals and travelers.

I recommend you budget time if you wish to wait in the long line for a cool kombucha beverage. It’s worth it. Kombucha in hand, I meandered through the large, open space with the luxury of not being rushed. Scanning the bundles of fresh carrots, lettuce, cucumber, and squash, I was submerged in a sea of yellows and greens. But what caught my attention was a rainbow. Placed squarely in the center of it all, the boldly vibrant colors of rainbow chard won me over.

Juju Carpenter and Michaela Hayes rang me up at Morning Glory’s stand, but I got more than just $6.95 worth of chard. They recommended a recipe that brings out the naturally sweet flavor of an otherwise bitter vegetable, attainable for all home chefs. Morning Glory also displayed the important work of the National Black Food & Justice Alliance on the front of their register, promoting the support they give to hundreds of Black farmers, organizers, leaders, and communities. Learn more at blackfoodjustice.org and consider donating.

Rainbow Chard

2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 bunch of rainbow chard (leaves and stems separated and chopped)
½ cup of onions, diced
¼ tsp. maple syrup (optional)
Balsamic vinegar to dress

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and, if you like, a touch of maple syrup that will caramelize and disappear into the dish. Add in the onions and chopped chard stems and sauté, stirring constantly until the chard stems are soft and the onion is an even golden color. Next, fold the chard leaves into the butter until they have wilted.

Now you are ready to serve. Drizzle a layer of balsamic vinegar onto the plate and top with your finished chard salad. This fresh and light summery treat will add a splash of color to any beautiful plate.