In Catalonia, this is an everyday first course, with spinach sometimes standing in for the Swiss chard. Cooks in the Balearic Islands combine these same ingredients to make the filling for cocarrois, their traditional vegetable turnovers. The Spanish ham can be left out, since the original recipe is strictly vegetarian, but it gives the dish greater complexity.
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and the Swiss chard, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the chard in a colander, pressing on it firmly with the back of a spoon to remove any excess liquid.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the spanish ham, and sauté, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes to color lightly. Add the pine nuts, stir well, and then add the Swiss chard and the raisins, again mixing well. Cook briefly, stirring, until all the ingredients are heated through.
Serve immediately, o remove from heat, set aside, and reheat later just before serving.
Each week we have fresh packages of thin slices of Redondo Iglesias ham prepared by a small butcher in the neighboring town. We use the finest jamón serrano available in the United States -- a lean ham with a rich nutty flavor.
Our slicer carves each ham by hand, placing an interleaf between each slice. Time for serving tapas? Just peel off the slices you want, and keep the rest in a zip-lock package for another day.