There are lots of textures in this simple dish. We cook the chard stems first, since they need a little more time than the leaves to get tender (but not too long, so they retain some bite). Then we stir in the leaves, a fistful at a time, until tender. We top the chard with crunchy almonds and a drizzle of olive oil, which gives it a silky finish. If you have some on hand, toss in some dried cherries for a sweet note.
Prepare the Swiss chard by stripping the leaves from the stems with a knife. Slice the stems on a slight diagonal about 1/2 inch thick. Loosely arrange the leaves and chop into large pieces.
Toast the almonds in a large skillet over medium heat without oil, shaking the pan occasionally, until the almonds are lightly browned and aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour them out of the pan to stop them from cooking and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in the same skillet and increase the heat to medium high. Add the shallots and chard stems and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and browned, about 6 minutes. If the skillet begins to brown too quickly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Add a handful of the chard leaves and a little salt, stirring until they wilt; continue adding leaves, seasoning lightly and wilting, until all the leaves are wilted.
Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with the vinegar and some additional olive oil, top with the almonds and sprinkle with dried cherries if using.
6th ingredient - dried cherries, golden raisins, diced apricots