- Food: Swiss Chard
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
So, you’re interested in trying Swiss chard? You’ve arrived at the right location! Find out how to cut and cook Swiss chard, as well as some of our favorite Swiss chard dishes.
When was the last time you cooked Swiss chard? We all love spinach and kale, but when was the last time you cooked Swiss chard? One of my favorite crops to work with is this brilliant lush green.
It’s incredibly adaptable — my favorite Swiss chard recipes include anything from smoky Mojo bowls to lemony pasta – and the stems are just as tasty as the dark green leaves.
I wanted to share a little Swiss chard 101 with you today because I believe we should all be cooking it more often. If you’ve never worked with chard before, I hope these suggestions and dishes inspire you to do so.
If you’re a seasoned Swiss chard cook, I hope one of the recipes below will inspire you to try something new with it. The possibilities for Swiss chard are endless!
But first, what is Swiss chard.
That’s an excellent question! Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable related to beets. If you’ve ever cooked with beet greens, you’ll notice that chard and beet greens are very similar.
When the mature leaves are raw, they are lush and harsh, but when braised or sautéed, they wilt down wonderfully. Their earthy flavor complements garlic, almonds, dried fruits such as currants and raisins, and acids such as lemon juice and vinegar.
The stems of chard are also edible, so don’t throw them out when you’re cooking the leaves! When I make sautéed Swiss chard, I just add the stems to the pan for a few minutes before adding the leaves to allow them to soften.
They also pickle well, making them an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, and bowls.
The stems in these photographs are red, but you can purchase them in a variety of colors at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Chard stems can be pale green, gold, red, or even striped, depending on the cultivar. They’re all delicious!
Swiss Chard Cooking Instructions
I nearly always sauté the leaves when I get a large bunch of green, red, or rainbow chard. They’re a little spongy and difficult to use raw in salads for me, though baby chard is a terrific salad basis if it’s available.
Sautéing chard is the simplest way to prepare it. Here’s how I do it:
- To begin, prepare the chard. Cut the stiff stems into 1/4-inch slices after removing the leaves. Coarsely slice the leaves by stacking them on top of one another.
- Cook the stems next. In a big skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until the chard stems begin to soften.
- Then add the leaves, some sliced garlic, salt, and pepper, and simmer for another 2 minutes, or until the leaves wilt.
- Season to taste and serve. Serve the wilted chard as a side dish with lemon juice squeezed over it. Below are some of my favorite Swiss chard dishes and serving ideas.
Other Swiss Chard Recipes to Try
Simple sautéed Swiss chard is a quick, healthful, and delicious side dish, but this green may be prepared in a variety of ways. These are some of my favorite Swiss chard dishes and serving ideas:
- It goes well with pasta or polenta. Serve simply sautéed chard over a bed of creamy polenta with red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese, or replace the kale in my Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Kale with chard.
- Make soup with it. In my brothy Cannellini Beans and Greens or this Sustenance Sweet Potato Soup, chard is used. You may also use it in my Many-Veggie Soup or Instant Pot Lentil Soup instead of kale.
- Make tacos out of it. On page 145 of The Love & Lemons Cookbook, you’ll find my greens and beans tacos.
- Use it in a grain bowl, like the Mojo Black Bean Bowls from Love & Lemons Every Day on page 199.
- Combine it with eggs. Make a simple scramble with it or include it in your next vegetarian frittata.
|Time to Prepare: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Time allotted: 10 minutes
This quick Swiss chard recipe is a great, healthful side dish! To create a dinner out of it, toss it with spaghetti or serve it over creamy polenta.
- 2 bunches of Swiss chard
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- Lemon wedge, for squeezing
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the chard leaves’ stems and chop them into 1/4-inch pieces. Chop the leaves coarsely.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chard stems begin to soften. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chard leaves are wilted, with the garlic, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
- Turn off the heat and stir the chard with a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.