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Swiss Chard

  • d

The swiss chard at farmer's market looks so wonderful. Would love to hear how chowhounds use this fall vegetable? I'm particularly interested in how to incorporate it into a soup but most of the recipes that I find involved meat and I need vegetarian options.

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  1. I like it simply wilted in a frying pan with a little EVOO and garlic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 2chez mike

      I wilt it with garlic in bacon fat and then spritz a bit of balsamic vinegar on it.

    2. Separate the leaves from the hard stalk part. Chop both - chop the stems into a dice, chop the leaves into strips but not too small.

      Take the kernels off of some ears of fresh raw corn.

      Sautee some shallots in some olive oil. Add the chopped chard stems, sautee a little, then add the corn kernels, cook a little more, then add the chard leaaves until they soften...at the end add a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper....and voila.

      1. I like to make this recipe:


        1 large bunch Swiss chard
        3/4-teaspoon salt
        3/4-cup olive oil
        2 medium onions, thinly sliced
        1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
        2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
        4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
        2 eggs, beaten
        a few twists of the pepper mill
        2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
        1/2 Cup Unseasoned breadcrumb

        Preheat oven to 375 degrees

        Remove the white stalks from the bottom of the chard and reserve for another use. Wash and shred the leaves. Place in a deep pot with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, covered, over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring often. (No additional water is needed, as the chard will cook with whatever is clinging to the leaves.) Transfer to a strainer and squeeze dry. In a deep skillet, add the oil, heat over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until wilted and about to turn color. Add the parsley, garlic, chard, and the mushrooms, and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and cool. You can do this quickly by stirring the mixture in the bowl constantly for a few Minutes. Add the eggs, Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1/2-teaspoon salt and the fresh milled pepper. Oil a baking dish, just large enough to hold the chard. Sprinkle a light layer of breadcrumb into the bottom of the dish. Transfer the chard to the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumb and bake, Uncovered, about 20 minutes. Serve hot

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chas

          Wow, that sounds good. Do you think it would ruin the dish to leave out the parm? Would be making it for a vegetarian who only eats kosher cheese and a health nut who is staying away from cheese for diet reasons. Or to hell with them, and make it for myself!

          1. re: shrimpbird

            LOL- Go ahead be selfish! :) My guess is that it would turn out OK without the Parm. I would have suggested adding a little pancetta (which to my taste, has a bit of a "cheesey" flavor itself) with the onions but you have the vegetarian prob. I would though, add a bit extra salt to compensate for the lack of cheese.

            1. re: Chas

              Thanks Chas! Mmm, maybe I'll make it with pancetta AND parmesan!

              1. re: shrimpbird

                Now I know what Dr. Frankenstein felt like. :) Enjoy!

        2. One of my fave things to do with chard is to make a sweet tart out of it. The chard is lightly cooked, drained and shredded, tossed with some pine nuts, raisins, honey, some cream and an egg or two, and baked in a double crust. It's a traditional Nicois thing, I think, and its delicate vegetal sweetness is strangely alluring.

          There are recipes for it in Boulud's "Cafe Boulud" cookbook, Patricia Wells' "Bistro Cooking" and Richard Olney's "Provence: The Beautiful Cookbook". You can also probably find recipes by Googling "swiss chard tourte".

          Link: http://meglioranza.com

          1. I just shred it by hand and add it to my soups and stews at the very end.

            1. Swiss Chard is my all-time favorite vegetable!

              You can just hack it up and steam/sautee it, but it will also stand up to just about anything you throw at it. The parmesan and pancetta suggestions sound awesome.

              One of my favorite veggie approaches is to add some browned flour (a french thing).

              1 head swiss chard
              1 large onion
              5 tablespoons flour
              liberal olive oil
              1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
              black pepper and salt
              splash of good sherry

              Toast flour in a metal (not non-stick) skillet on high heat until it is the color of khaki pants or a bit darker. Remove flour from pan.

              Sautee large onion.

              Ad nutmeg pepper and salt.

              Ad chopped chard (I always like the stems chopped on the fine side). Sautee til it is done to your taste. Ad browned flour and a splash of sherry. You can also ad milk, soymilk, or cream at this point if you like.

              1. A friend's Mexican mother makes wonderful soups with chard, and you can leave out the bouillon cube. For instance, boil up roughly chopped chard (leaves, stalks, and all), some diced onion, and as much sliced jalapeno as you can take (the more the better!) with enough water to make a medium thick soup; salt to taste. Or boil up chopped chard stems, coarsely diced potato, and chopped garlic (jalapenos are optional here), and salt; when almost cooked, add chard stems; when everything's cooked, puree in blender.

                She also serves boiled chopped chard with lemon juice, salt, and chopped jalapeno. Excellent.

                Diana Kennedy has a good recipe for chard enchiladas (with cheese) in The Tortilla Book; a quick google didn't turn it up, but IIRC it's cooked, drained, squeezed chard, cheese, maybe some sauteed onions? for the filling, with a chipotle-flavored cooked tomato sauce.

                I like to sautee lots of chopped garlic in olive oil, toss in the chard, add feta cheese, herbs, maybe chopped olives, dried tomatoes, whatever, let it cool to tepid, and stuff warm pita with it. (I keep pita in the freezer; one cycle in the toaster oven and it's hot, puffed, and ready for stuffing.) In chard season I freeze cooked chard in individual portions so I can make this for a quick supper.

                1. Tunisian Spicy Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

                  Sauté minced onion, carrot, celery, garlic in some olive oil. Add some tomato paste and chicken broth (or subsitute vegetable broth or even lightly salted water), then add equal amounts of butter beans and chickpeas (either cooked from dry or canned and rinsed) and a dollop of harissa (Tunisian hot paste). Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, chop the chard stems and slice the leaves separately. Add the stems for a few minutes, then the leaves fairly briefly. Absolutely delicious! I like mine pretty spicy so I use a fair amount of harissa but you can always add a bit more once it’s in your bowl if everyone doesn’t like it really spicy.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: GretchenS

                    I really like chard with lentils. Here's how I do it:

                    Cook lentils in water until soft. Cook a bit of chopped bacon together with chopped onion. Add it to the cooked lentils. Toss in a bunch of chopped chard leaves and simmer until chard is cooked. (If you're going to use stems, I'd chop and cook them while before adding the leaves.) I like a little crushed red pepper on top.

                    Vegetarians could leave out the bacon and add salt.

                    Of you could just add a bunch of chopped chard to your favorite lentil soup.

                    Link: http://flyingfur.typepad.com/flyingfur/

                    1. re: Val Ann C

                      I too use Swiss Chard as part of a (vegetarian) lentil soup. It also has asiaggo cheese and vinegar as finishing touches. It is a Deborah Madison recipe from the Green's Restaurant Cookbook (vintage 1980ish).

                    2. re: GretchenS

                      I just found this thread. I love harissa! Just made sauteed chard and arugla, (baby leaves) with two fried eggs (cooked in a little Pam) and used it to stuff into brown pita which was spread with harissa! Delicious. Will also try the above recipe. I also recently made a pearled spelt risotto (like farro) with shallots, goats cheese, Gran Padano (as a substitution for Parmesan as it is lower in fat) with chopped chard stirred in at the end. Used a vegetable stock to cook the risotto in. The pearled spelt was so much better than rice. I soaked it for 15 minutes in cold water. I think it also matters how big the chard is as to how bitter it is. Go for smaller leaves if possible.

                    3. I have two ways to prepare it. The first is sauteed with onion and maybe some garlic, then mixed in with pasta and feta. Delicious and veggie.
                      I also like to boil some potatoes, then about halfway through add the chard, then drain the whole thing. Sautee some garlic in a good bit of olive oil and add the potatoes and chard and mash up. Total comfort food.

                      1. I have two ways to prepare it. The first is sauteed with onion and maybe some garlic, then mixed in with pasta and feta. Delicious and veggie.
                        I also like to boil some potatoes, then about halfway through add the chard, then drain the whole thing. Sautee some garlic in a good bit of olive oil and add the potatoes and chard and mash up. Total comfort food.

                        1. Chard is not just a fall vegetable! I started seeds indoors in early spring and have been picking leaves all this month for stir fry.

                          Thanks to previous responders for their interesting recipes. I still have lots of chard left to try them with!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: DonShirer

                            I have some neon chard growing in my garden right now, and i can't wait! I just eat it sauteed with olive oil (a nice fruity one), lots of garlic, red chile flakes, salt, and pepper. So delicious. But any chard works for this :-)

                          2. I added some to stir fried pork with peppers last night. It was great. I also eat it raw in salads. I pretty much use it where ever I'd use spinach.