Saturday, 18 July 2009


Tis the season, well not "that" season, but for me its the season of amazing colours in our foods. I am a huge fan of all hearty greens: collards, kale, spinach, bok choy, etc...but i have the softest spot for Swiss chard, especially of the rainbow variety.
I find a simple saute of Swiss chard with garlic and onion is a fantastic side dish with meats, a great filling for a fritatta, or a meal in itself with the help of some white beans and Parmesan cheese.
In the recipe that follows, as in the picture, I have used rainbow Swiss chard, but feel free to use any hearty green from spring cabbage to late season kale to enjoy this easy dish throughout the growing seasons.

1 bunch Swiss chard, clean and then separate stalks from leaves
1 T olive oil or rapeseed oil 
1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 dozen mushrooms, washed, and sliced thinly

  1. Wash the Swiss chard again, it always has lots of dirt, so soak it in a few changes of cold water till no dirt is in the water.
  2. Thinly slice the stems and thickly slice the leaves, keeping them separate.
  3. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, and add vegetable oil ( or olive oil)
  4. Add onions and garlic and sweat them down till translucent
  5. Add chard stems and cook them till soft ( roughly 3-5 minutes) adding a touch of water or white wine if necessary to prevent sticking.
  6. Turn up heat, add chard leaves and cook over medium high heat till wilted.
  7. Add mushrooms and cook quickly till softened.
  8. Season with salt and pepper 


Please remember...if you make bigger batches of food you have leftover and if you have leftovers you can have more options such as all the ideas below...

Why not use the cooked chard as a base for a breakfast fritatta, by simply cracking a few eggs, scrambling em up and pouring them over the cooked greens ( use a small pan that just fits the eggs and greens so you have a taller fritatta)  and cook over low heat till bottom is set and then toss it in the oven to finish.

Or toss with some fresh pasta and broad beans for a great mid week meal ( yes another chance to shave some nice Parmesan or manchego over the top!!!)

I also have chopped the finished greens very finely and used them as a vegetarian stuffing for dumplings or raviolis ( with a greater proportion of mushrooms  that i have pureed for added body).

Another idea is to chill the cooked chard and toss with leftover cooked whole grains( millet, quinoa, brown rice) and a bit of vinaigrette for a great lunch salad.

So go out to the grocers, the markets,  your garden and get some chard and make this nice and easy, quick and healthy dish.


  1. We love any greens and these ideas are so easy and healthy!!

  2. those will be my side dish for tomorrow night's dinner! thanks for keeping us healthy, greg.