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Your best Swiss chard recipes

Nyleve Jun 30, 2008 10:39 AM

I have a beautiful bunch picked from my friend's garden. I am embarassed to admit that, although I adore most other greens, my experience with chard has not been excellent. The last time I bothered to cook it, it tasted way more earthy than I liked. What to do with this? I want to love it. It's so beautiful.

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  1. kc girl RE: Nyleve Jun 30, 2008 12:02 PM

    I made a swiss chard sidedish to go with some venison a friend brought home from hunting. And, the dinner had strong flavors, but it worked.

    This is what I did, but I didn't write a recipe.
    Saute swiss charde in a little oil with just a touch of garlic. Add some pepperoni pieces and stir until slightly wilted.
    Then, I made a peppercorn gravy. This was plated with whipped sweet potatoes.

    1. p
      pamiam RE: Nyleve Jun 30, 2008 12:12 PM

      I love this recipe from Epicurious, although I omit the water - the chard exudes enough liquid to cook itself. I also likely up the amounts of feta and currants a bit, but I don't measure.


      1 Reply
      1. re: pamiam
        toveggiegirl RE: pamiam Oct 15, 2009 06:55 AM

        Thanks for sharing that recipe. It looks really good. I'll have to try it.

      2. j
        janniecooks RE: Nyleve Jun 30, 2008 12:16 PM

        I just made a lovely side dish of swiss chard with caramelized onions and pine nuts. Here are the ingredients to make about 4 servings:

        2 tablespoons pine nuts
        1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
        1 large onion, coarsely chopped (I prefer cut in quarters and then slice thinly pole-to-pole)
        1 bunch swiss chard, about a pound, washed, leaves and stalks separated (pull leaves off the stalks by folding together along stalk and pull the stalk away like pulling a zipper)
        2 tablespoons golden raisins
        2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        ground black pepper to taste

        Toast the pine nuts until golden brown, set aside to cool.

        In a large deep skillet or a dutch oven heat the oil over medium-low heat, add the onions and cook them until golden brown and very soft, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes.

        While the onions are cooking, cut the chard stalks into strips 2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide and tear the leaves into 2-inch pieces.

        Add the chard stalks and raisins to the onions and cook them until the stalks are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally while the stalks are cooking. Once tender add the leaves and vinegar, toss all about to coat the leaves with the oil, and cook about 5 minutes or until the leaves are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a serving dish and top with the reserved pine nuts.

        3 Replies
        1. re: janniecooks
          jenn RE: janniecooks Sep 4, 2008 09:14 AM

          I do something similiar with chard or with kale though I usually choose between pine nuts and raisins [whatever kind you have]. My recipe is from Spain/Cataluna.

          Once made, if you wish to "extend" it into dinner, you can toss the whole thing with some pasta [fusilli or penne, something short]---just add a touch more olive oil and toss a scoop of pasta cooking water into the veggies before you drain the pasta.

          1. re: janniecooks
            katz66 RE: janniecooks Jun 15, 2012 04:04 AM

            This recipes sounds wonderful but why does it have rasins in it? Why do people feel they have to throw rasins in everything. Why not finish it with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Help me understand please. Rasins are great out of the box for the two year old.

            Please do not take this wrong. I am going to try this tonight with out the rasins.

            1. re: katz66
              janniecooks RE: katz66 Jun 15, 2012 04:43 AM

              Raisins add a touch of sweetness to counter any bitterness in the leaves and the acid of the vinegar. If you don't care for raisins just leave them out. The recipe does have balsamic vinegar added for the last five minutes of cooking. Adapt freely to your taste, it may be different than mine.

          2. sarah galvin RE: Nyleve Jun 30, 2008 07:03 PM

            I have just found a nice recipe for kale but it would probably work with chard, as well. It is marinated in coconut milk, cayenne, salt, pepper for at least 4 hours and then grilled. It is so nice and smoky tasting. Love it.

            8 Replies
            1. re: sarah galvin
              rudeboy RE: sarah galvin Jul 1, 2008 07:09 AM

              Sarah - this sounds so intriguing for kale. So, you just let it sit in that concoction and then throw on a grill? For how long do you cook and over what heat?

              1. re: rudeboy
                sarah galvin RE: rudeboy Jul 1, 2008 08:08 PM

                You marinate for at least 4 hours. The recipe says about a minute each side but I think it depends on your kale. I left it on much longer. I'll be making it again tomorrow with a more tender kale so it may only need a minute a side. I used med high heat. I forgot, there is also paprika in it. I bet it would taste nice with a smoked paprika.

                1. re: sarah galvin
                  rudeboy RE: sarah galvin Jul 6, 2008 10:28 AM

                  GOOD GOD - this was so good. I served up a bunch of it at a party on the 4th. Sorry to hijack the post - this is about kale. Not sure if chard would stand up, as kale is more "meaty."

                  I used the smoked paprika instead of cayenne. It was over a fire of hardwood charcoal and pecan wood. Medium heat, though. I let the kale brown just a bit on the edges before removing. The kale was perfectly moist, but seared, almost like blanched but still to the tooth.

                  I was serving some vegetarians, and vegans, and they remarked at my creativity (I gave credit, though). Thanks so much, sarah.......it was a hit.

                  1. re: rudeboy
                    Nyleve RE: rudeboy Jul 6, 2008 04:45 PM

                    My kale awaits in the garden. A month or two and we're doing this.

                    1. re: rudeboy
                      sarah galvin RE: rudeboy Jul 9, 2008 08:48 PM

                      I'm thrilled you liked it so much! It is my 'go to' veggie of the moment. Isn't it amazing though? I have to give credit to Vij's Indian resto in Vancouver.

                      1. re: sarah galvin
                        Phoebe RE: sarah galvin Jul 8, 2013 10:18 AM

                        sarahg.... PLEASE give more detailed info on the recipe. I have both fresh kale and rainbow chard in my garden. I love kale in a curry sauce!!! Never thought of grilling kale before....

                        1. re: Phoebe
                          rudeboy RE: Phoebe Jul 17, 2013 05:57 AM

                          Hmmm - good idea to mix a bit of curry paste and take out the paprika. That would be yummy....

                  2. re: rudeboy
                    sarah galvin RE: rudeboy Jul 1, 2008 08:11 PM

                    You marinate for at least 4 hours. The recipe says about a minute each side but I think it depends on your kale. I left it on much longer. I'll be making it again tomorrow with a more tender kale so it may only need a minute a side. I used med high heat.

                2. optimal forager RE: Nyleve Jun 30, 2008 07:19 PM

                  I love this Rick Bayless taco recipe, with chard plus onions, queso fresco and a tomatillo salsa.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: optimal forager
                    dexters RE: optimal forager Sep 4, 2008 08:17 AM

                    I make this recipe often. It is delicious, and even my carnivore hub doesn't miss the meat in the tacos!

                    1. re: optimal forager
                      TongoRad RE: optimal forager Oct 15, 2009 07:04 AM

                      Similarly I like to make something with the chard (sauteed with red onion and a splash of cider vinegar), roasted potatoes and scrambled egg in a flour tortilla. Some queso fresco, or even feta cheese (which is what I normally have on hand) never hurts.

                    2. s
                      serious RE: Nyleve Jul 1, 2008 03:06 AM

                      I used to remove leaves and discard stems before cooking swiss chard but the stems are actually the sweetest most delicious part, a tip from vendor at greenmarket.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: serious
                        scunge RE: serious Jul 1, 2008 04:13 AM

                        I like to sweat some onions and garlic then add very ripe tomato and basil ,salt and black pepper .When simmering and sauce like I add the rinsed chopped chard I finnish with E.V.O and serve with crusty bread or a short pasta.You can add grated cheese.Once when chard that I had grown were large I did blanch the stems then breaded and fried them like cardoons or eggplant. Very good!!

                      2. Pia RE: Nyleve Jul 1, 2008 06:58 AM

                        This is adapted from a long-lost Mario Batali recipe: I chop up the chard in small strips and chop some shallots to go along with it, then saute in olive oil with red pepper flakes. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, sprinkle breadcrumbs on the bottom. Mix the chard mixture with 2-3 eggs -- not enough to make a quiche, just a little more than enough to bind -- pour into the baking pan, top with more breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for around 15 minutes. Makes nice compact green squares which are great as a side dish.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Pia
                          foodshark73 RE: Pia Oct 3, 2009 04:36 PM

                          Hey Pia, I was intrigued and Googled the recipe:

                          It's in the oven now (with a few modifications--I can't imagine it really needs to bake for an hour), can't wait!

                          1. re: foodshark73
                            oakjoan RE: foodshark73 Oct 3, 2009 10:28 PM

                            Here's a link to the Zuni Cafe Cookbook's Chard and Gruyere Panade which is one of the most deelish dishes ever prepared.

                            I know this thread is more than a year old, but hey....one can never be too late for chard recipes!


                            1. re: oakjoan
                              danna RE: oakjoan Oct 16, 2009 08:27 AM

                              yes, it is. I made it once w/ whole wheat walnut bread and it was the richest, most delicious concoction ever. I think i gained 5 lbs. it would be a good dish to have if you were "going off to starve" as they say.

                        2. always_eating RE: Nyleve Jul 1, 2008 09:20 AM

                          I made Swiss Chard Gnocchi last night from an old issue of Bon Appétit focused on Provence. Here is the link on Epicurious:


                          I have never tried using swiss chard in pasta (usually make it in a vegetable dish or add it to soups). It was quite delicious!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: always_eating
                            Den RE: always_eating Jul 1, 2008 12:32 PM

                            If you like swiss chard and pasta try it in ravioli. Make a regular cheese ravioli. Saute the chard like you're going to have it for a side dish. Chop it up fine by hand or in a food processor and mix it into the cheese filling.

                          2. n
                            Nyleve RE: Nyleve Jul 1, 2008 09:22 AM

                            Thanks everyone! I didn't get a chance to read the responses yesterday before cooking my chard but this is what I did. Separated stalks and leaves and chopped both. 3 slices bacon in a large pan until well cooked but not crisp. Plenty of chopped garlic, one chopped onion and a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes. Cooked until onion was soft. Added the chopped stems, cooked for a while, then added the chopped leaves and continued cooking until wilted. One drained can of chick peas - cooked until everything is blended and hot. That's all I had for supper. It was fantastic. I'm a chard-convert!

                            In fact I picked another bunch this morning so I'll do something else with that. I love chard! I can't believe I thought I didn't like it.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Nyleve
                              kerns125 RE: Nyleve May 31, 2012 05:25 PM

                              I just made your bacon-chick-pea chard recipe (above) and it was FABULOUS -- a suggestion for anyone else is to add a touch of sea salt at the end for taste and to squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top as you serve -- it brightens it up and really transforms the dish.

                              1. re: Nyleve
                                ecoppel RE: Nyleve Feb 24, 2013 07:25 PM

                                I came here looking for chard recipes and gave this bacon/chickpea approach a go... And like kerns125 said, it really is fabulous! I added some balsamic at the end and topped it with feta cheese. Delicious and easy - thanks for the tip!

                              2. carswell RE: Nyleve Jul 2, 2008 08:25 AM

                                The stems I like parboiled, layered in a buttered baking dish with parmesan and butter dots and finished in the oven until the cheese is brown.

                                The leaves are great sautéed in olive oil and dressed with vinegar or lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes. They're also excellent with pasta (onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovy or pancetta if you like, vinegar/lemon juice, grated pecorino). Sauté with onions and combine with ricotta for a great for stuffing for roasted small birds (quail, Cornish game hens, etc.).

                                But my favourite use is probably tourte aux blettes, Nice's traditional chard tart, which comes in savoury (parmesan) and slightly sweet (pine nuts and golden raisins) versions. The leaves are shredded, sautéed, squeezed of their water, combined with beaten egg and seasonings and used to fill a single or double crust pie. The sweet version is dusted with powdered sugar just before serving, preferably at room temp with a glass of fruity rosé. Patricia Wells' Bistro Cooking has a great recipe using an easy olive-oil crust. Just found the savoury script online -- http://oneforkonespoon.blogspot.com/2... -- though I have to say I find the double-crust sweet version even more worthwhile. Vegetable-based dessert: you gotta love it!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: carswell
                                  sweetTooth RE: carswell Jul 17, 2013 07:00 AM

                                  David Lebovitz has a Tourte Le Blettes recipe. I liked it. But family didn't care for the sweet treatment. Awesome crust. Super easy to work with.

                                2. greedygirl RE: Nyleve Jul 10, 2008 02:57 AM

                                  I make a very nice tart using the stems, with gruyere and creme fraiche. I sauté the leaves and serve them on the side with a squeeze of lemon, and maybe some roasted carrots.

                                  1. c
                                    cyclecat RE: Nyleve Sep 3, 2008 03:25 PM

                                    For a great vegetarian main course, saute a bunch of chard stems till soft in some olive oil with garlic, then add the shredded leaves, a couple of cans of black-eyed peas, undrained, and some cayenne or Cajun seasoning and let it all simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. Then add a little knob of butter and serve as is or over brown rice. This is really yummy...

                                    1. o
                                      oryza RE: Nyleve Sep 5, 2008 09:55 AM

                                      Just as a tip-- chard gets really bitter the longer it's been picked; a fresh bunch tastes sweet without a hint of earthy bitterness, but after about 3 days, it picks up a strong, icky taste (that intensifies the longer it sits). It tends to stay sprightly in the fridge when wrapped loosely for weeks, but it's not something I want to keep that long because it doesn't taste good.

                                      1. t
                                        toveggiegirl RE: Nyleve Oct 15, 2009 06:54 AM

                                        This is the perfect "gateway" recipe for chard haters. Who doesn't love something smothered in two types of cheese. (It's a great nasic mac & cheese recipe without the chard too.)
                                        Bon Appétit's Double-Dutch Mac & Cheese With Chard

                                        Two of my other favourite chard recipes:

                                        Debora Madison's Chard and Onion Omelet - Trouchia

                                        Zuni Café's Chard, Onion & Gruyère Panade - sort of like a bread casserole

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: toveggiegirl
                                          sweetTooth RE: toveggiegirl Jul 17, 2013 06:56 AM

                                          Hearty second for Deborah Madison's trouchia.

                                        2. JP_nyc RE: Nyleve May 31, 2012 07:04 PM

                                          Joan Nathan has a simple and delicious recipe for Swiss Chard* with Fava Beans in her "Foods of Israel Today".

                                          You take 1 lb. fresh shelled fava beans and put in a pan with 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, the juice of a lemon, s&p and 3/4 cup water. Simmer covered for ~15 mins or until beans are tender. Add 1 lb. Swiss chard (cleaned, patted dry & chopped) and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro and simmer covered another 5 mins or until greens are tender. Quickly boil off uncovered any excess remaining liquid, and serve.

                                          *recipe actually calls for milhouliyah, a green commonly used in Egyptian cuisine.

                                          1. chefathome RE: Nyleve May 31, 2012 07:31 PM

                                            Simply mashing potatoes with steamed (or boiled) swiss chard and fresh grassy olive oil and seasoning is common throughout Croatia. After having it many, many times it is now one of my favourite preparations. I like to add roasted garlic.

                                            1. g
                                              gilintx RE: Nyleve May 31, 2012 10:17 PM

                                              We had very good luck with this Swiss chard gratin from Alice Waters:

                                              Like creamed spinach, but a little bolder.

                                              1. Crockett67 RE: Nyleve Jun 1, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                Clean, washed, chopped, and sauteed with olive oil, salt & pepper, garlic. My SO like to add a little cider vinegar to his. I also wilt it in butter and add it to my carbonara recipe at the end.

                                                If young enough you can toss them in a salad.

                                                1. h
                                                  haiku. RE: Nyleve Jun 8, 2012 04:40 PM

                                                  A real winner is Ottolenghi's Chickpea sauté with Greek yogurt (there is chard in there, I promise :) ) - follow the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                                  1. b
                                                    Bettebet RE: Nyleve Jul 7, 2012 08:14 AM

                                                    Does anyone have a recipe or idea for a salad made from Chard?
                                                    Can chard be used in place of lettuce?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Bettebet
                                                      ellabee RE: Bettebet Jul 7, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                      I was just about to reply to the original post with a salad suggestion. In my childhood, we had this over and over when it was too hot for the spinach (it bolts) so my mother subbed chard greens from my father's garden: tear greens into pieces, crumble large-curd cottage cheese over, chopped red onion that's marinated in vinegar for a bit, and crumbled bacon. Dress with plain oil & vinegar w/ground pepper.

                                                      Goes particularly well with tomato sandwiches!

                                                    2. junescook RE: Nyleve Jul 7, 2012 02:55 PM

                                                      We have a favorite chard main dish that I adapted from a rabe dish I had in a restaurant. It takes quited a lot of chard. I wash the chard, and cut the leaves into narrow strips across the leaf. If the stems are marrow and tender, you can use those too, by also cutting across the grain. You don't have to get the chard bone dry after washing.

                                                      1 large bunch Swiss chard
                                                      2-3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
                                                      dried pepper flakes
                                                      2-3 tbs olive oil
                                                      1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
                                                      4+ ounces cooked penne
                                                      1 cup beef stock (I usually just use Minor's since it's always handy).
                                                      grated parmesan, romano or grana to taste

                                                      First I cook penne (I use whole grain type) until they're just done. Then, I pour a couple of tbs olive oil into the bottom of a deep pot. I throw in some thinly sliced garlic and some pepper flakes, and warm it until it becomes aromatic. Next I add the sliced chard (stems a couple of minutes first if using). As the chard wilts down, keep adding more as you can fit it into the pan. Then I add one can of cannellini beans (or any white beans), then the penne. Finally to complete the dish, I add 1 cup of beef stock to flavor and finish cooking the pasta stirring all to mix. We serve it with grated cheese. It's good enough to serve to company.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: junescook
                                                        bpaderi RE: junescook Jul 7, 2013 08:14 PM

                                                        I made this this evening with Swiss chard from my garden and LOVED it! Thank you for posting.

                                                      2. e
                                                        Elicanada RE: Nyleve Jul 9, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                        I absolutely love the buttery flavour of Swiss chard. I often use it in a savory pie or make a green pizza with it. I parboil the swiss chard in salted water (to remove any bitterness). Rince it in cold water and drain. I then coursly chop the leaves, toss it in a bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese (adding garlic if desired). I then spread the mixture overtop of the pizza dough. I top the pizza with a little extra cheese (what ever I have available) and bake in the oven.
                                                        I also make make swiss chard rolls. It is the same recipe, I just roll the prepared pizza lengthwise, bake, then slice in sections.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Elicanada
                                                          rcallner RE: Elicanada Jul 9, 2012 02:02 PM

                                                          Made some chard and sweet onion enchiladas last night with a green sauce (together with mushroom/zucchini/roast potato enchiladas, heirloom refried beans, and a Mexican-flavored cabbage/carrot/radish/green onion salad). Saute onions and garlic, steam chard, puree them together with a bit of sour cream to bind - dip or brush flour tortillas in sauce on both sides, roll up enchiladas, dot with sliced olives and shredded cheese, bake. Top with fresh avocado slices and sour cream and/or salsa.

                                                        2. katz66 RE: Nyleve Jul 9, 2012 01:58 PM

                                                          This is so easy and so good..

                                                          Swiss Chard in Cream Sauce

                                                          Argentine name: Acelgas en Crema

                                                          Serves 4


                                                          25g/1oz Butter

                                                          1 small Onion, finely chopped

                                                          1 Carrot, cut into julienne strips

                                                          1 medium Potato, cut into 12mm/1/2-inch cubes

                                                          450g/1lb Swiss Chard, thinly sliced on the diagonal

                                                          Salt and Pepper

                                                          3 tbsp Heavy Cream

                                                          1. Heat the butter in a saucepan add the onion, carrot, and potato and sauté for about 15 minutes or until tender.

                                                          2. Add the chard to the saucepan, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and simmer over very low heat for about 10 minutes or until the chard is tender.

                                                          3. Stir in the cream and continue simmer gently, uncovered, for a few minutes longer. Serve immediately.

                                                          1. Ruthie789 RE: Nyleve Jul 9, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                            It is excellent to use in soups and I also use fennel with it as well in a tomato vegetable soup.

                                                            1. m
                                                              MrsJonesey RE: Nyleve Jul 9, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                              I really like this recipe from Rachel Ray. Pasta with Swiss Chard, Bacon and Lemony Ricotta.
                                                              It is also really good with cannellini beans in place of pasta. I use less bacon, 3 slices instead of 5, and find it doesn't need any more.

                                                              1. e
                                                                ellabee RE: Nyleve Jul 8, 2013 12:11 AM

                                                                It's one of my favorite vegetables to stir-fry, with pork and hoisin and ginger and sesame.

                                                                1. echoclerk RE: Nyleve Jul 8, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                                  Lunch: Swiss Chard and Cheddar Cheese Sandwich / Ciabatta.

                                                                  I have been obsessed with this for lunch for the last 12 months or so.

                                                                  I stir-fry the Chard in Olive Oil with a little sliced Red Onion and then put it on a Ciabatta Bread Roll or some Sour Dough Bread with a good quality Mature English Cheddar.

                                                                  - Chard - chopped up roughly
                                                                  - Red Onion - Sliced thinly
                                                                  - Fresh Cracked Pepper
                                                                  - a light grating of Nutmeg
                                                                  - Mature English Cheddar
                                                                  - bread

                                                                  The Onion and Nutmeg seem to stop it getting that fishy flavour that sometimes occurs. - or just don't cook it too much.

                                                                  Occasionally I'll chuck in a little Chorizo or a smoky cured Polish Farmhouse sausage as well.

                                                                  1. w
                                                                    willownt RE: Nyleve Jul 17, 2013 06:21 AM

                                                                    I am growing the red-stemmed variety in my garden; I made some last weekend mixed with kale and it was outstanding -the greens themselves were so good. This is how I make most greens, coconut milk is optional but very good. I fried onions well in oil, added garlic and salt, and added the chopped greens (I gave the kale a headstart, but this would certainly work with one green), some water and coconut milk. It didn't taste earthy at all. Be sure you wash your greens enough, especially if you're getting them from a home garden instead of a store. I did not sparate stalks from leaves; all were pretty tender. You could add something to spice it up.

                                                                    I also used leftovers from a previous swiss chard cooking (no coconut) in an omelet with onions and peppers. Very nice.

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