Lots of Things to Do with Chard

Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta
Lemony Lentil Chard Soup
Creamy Swiss Chard with Cranberry Beans
Yellow Potatoes with Red Swiss Chard, Rosemary, and Garlic
Chard and Oranges with Shallots
Chard Pie
Erbazzone (Chard Pie II)

Chard is basically a beet variety that has been selected for its output of leaves rather than for its root, according to the University of Illionis cooperative extension. Like other members of the same family, including spinach, it is also extraordinarily nutritious, loaded with vitamins, including cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Try working some into your diet with these recipes.


Rainbow chard from the Santa Barbara farmers market, in Santa Barbara, Calif., Feb. 25, 2006

Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta [top]

1 lb chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup onion
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fat free sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
8 ounces fettuccine pasta, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash chard and cut into small pieces

2. Heat oil in large 2 quart saucepan over medium- high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Then add chard, garlic and onion; cooking 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add tomatoes, sour cream, milk, parmesan, cooked fettuccine, salt and pepper; stir well.

Lemony Lentil Chard Soup [top]

6-7 cups water
1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 leeks, sliced
4 cups eggplants (or zucchini), cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups chard (or spinach)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
2-3 minced garlic cloves

1. Place the water and lentils in a 5 quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and sauté for a few minutes until they begins to brown. Add the eggplant and 1/2 tsp of salt and sauté for a few minutes, until eggplant begins to soften. Add tomato and cook for a few more minutes, until vegetables become saucy.

3. Once lentils are just tender, add the saucy vegetables, remaining salt, chard or spinach, paprika, cumin, bouillon cubes, and lemon zest to the pot. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the lemon juice and garlic and serve.

Creamy Swiss Chard with Cranberry Beans [top]

1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
4 cups bite-size pieces swiss chard
1 1/2 cups cooked cranberry beans (cooked from dry; or canned, drained)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook, stirring, until onions are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard; cook, stirring until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the beans; cook, stirring, until heated through.
2. Remove the heat. Stir in the sour cream, salt and pepper.

Source: Carol Gelles, 1000 Vegetarian Recipes

Yellow Potatoes with Red Swiss Chard, Rosemary, and Garlic [top]

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups peeled, cubed yellow potatoes (1/2-inch pieces, about 3/4 pound)
6 cloves garlic, whole, unpeeled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
2 cups chopped red or green Swiss chard
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and garlic; cook, stirring, until browned, about 9 minutes. Add the rosemary; cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Add the Swiss chard, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the chard is tender, about 2 minutes.

Source: Carol Gelles, 1000 Vegetarian Recipes

Chard and Oranges with Shallots [top]

1 pound chard, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 small unpeeled orange, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
salt and black pepper

1. Cut the stems out of the chard leaves. Cut the leaves into wide ribbons and slice the stems; keep the leaves and stems separate.

2. Put the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and sugar and cook for a minute, then stir in the orange bits and lower the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until everything is caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.

3. Return the heat to medium and stir in the chard stems. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften a bit, just a minute or two. Add the chard ribbons, cover, and turn off the heat. Let the chard steam for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir and re-cover the pan for another couple of minutes. Sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper and serve at room temperature.

This recipe shows off fresh shelled beans, such as cranberry beans, that are widely available in U.S. farmers markets, from east to west, each fall. “Ribollita” means re-boiled in Italian, and it is standard practice in Italy to prepare this soup in advance and reheat. Proportions may be adjusted, depending on vegetables on hand. This soup is even better the second day.

Ribollita (Italian Bean with Vegetable Soup) [top]

2 cups shelled cranberry beans (or white beans, such as great northern)
1 large bunch chard, shredded
1 small head Savoy cabbage, coarsely shredded
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 leek, well washed and finely sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 or 4 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 large stalks celery, sliced into ½ slices
1 thick slice per serving whole wheat bread, slightly stale
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak beans overnight. Cover with water and cook approximately 1 hour until done.

2. Strain the beans, reserving all their cooking water. Set aside about one quarter of the beans. Puree the rest, together with their cooking water.

3. In a separate large pot, sauté onions, garlic, celery, carrot and leek in olive oil. Add cabbage, chard, tomato, and thyme, together with pureed beans. Cook over low heat for about one hour. Add reserved beans, salt, and a little water if necessary, and cook for about 15 more minutes.

4. To serve, place bread slice in bottom of soup bowl, add soup, a grating of olive oil and top with a small amount of high-quality olive oil.

Chard Pie I [top]

2 tablespoons butter
About 8 large chard leaves, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs, like parsley, thyme, chervil and chives
6 eggs
1 cup whole milk, yogurt, or sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
11/4 cups all purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the butter in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. A minute later, add the chard and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are quite tender, about 10 minutes; do not brown. Remove from the heat, add the herbs, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

2. Meanwhile, hard-cook 3 of the eggs, then shell and coarsely chop. Add to the cooked chard mixture and let cool while you make the batter.

3. Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise and remaining eggs. Add the baking powder and flour and mix until smooth. Lightly butter a 9 x 12-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Spread half the batter over the bottom, then top with chard filling; smear the remaining batter over the chard , using your fingers to make sure there are no gaps.

4. Bake for 45 minutes; it will be shiny and golden brown. Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

This is an unusual sweet pie featuring chard, which is a traditional dish from Bologna, in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It is possible to make a savory version of by leaving the sugar out of both the filling and the crust, and browning pancetta to add to the chard mixture. You can substitute pine nuts for almonds. You can also add garlic to a savory version. I do not recommend using rainbow chard, because once they’re cooked, the colored stems look a little unattractive in the filling.

Erbazzone (Chard Pie II) [top]

2 bunches chard
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup blanched almonds, pulverized in food processor
1 lb. ricotta cheese (or you can substitute small-curd cottage cheese)
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ¼ cups pastry flour
Up to 2 tablespoons water

1. Combine butter, sugar and flour in food processor. Blend until all are in small particles. Add egg and blend. With the motor running, add water a few drops at a time, and run until dough forms a smooth ball in processor. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for half an hour.

2. Cover raisins with boiling water and let stand for half an hour. Drain, and chop coarsely. Wash chard well, and remove stalks. Place in large pot, with just the water that clings to the leaves and cook over medium heat for five minutes. Remove, and drain well in colander. Squeeze out as much water as possible.

3. Preheat oven to 375º. Roll out dough to fill a 10-inch tart pan. Fill pan and set aside in refrigerator while you finish preparing the filling.

4. Shred chard finely and combine with almonds, raisins and ricotta cheese, nutmeg, sugar and salt in large bowl. Fill prepared crust and bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on rack. Serve at room temperature.

Source: Victoria Slind-Flor