Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chard Recipes

Swiss Chard, a close cousin of the beet, is a colorful and beautiful green at spring and fall market tables. Like many of my other favorite greens, it is nutrient dense featuring high amounts of Vitamins A, C, K, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese. This makes it a nice addition to quiches and sauces. I do not eat full grown Chard raw usually, although smaller leaves can be added to salads and will have a flavor and texture somewhat similar to spinach.


Onion, Chard and Ricotta Pizza

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound chard, stemmed, leaves washed
1 14-inch pizza crust (1/2 batch pizza dough)
3/4 cup ricotta (6 ounces)
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)
1 egg yolk

1. Thirty minutes before baking the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until tender and just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook another 10 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown and very sweet and soft. Remove from the heat.
2. While the onions are cooking, stem and wash the chard leaves, and bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the chard. Blanch for one to two minutes, just until the leaves are tender, and transfer to the ice water. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Alternatively, steam the chard for two to three minutes until wilted, and rinse with cold water. Chop the chard medium-fine.
3. Roll out the dough, oil a 14-inch pizza pan and dust with cornmeal or semolina. Place the dough on the pan.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolk, Parmesan and chard. Spread over the pizza dough in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border around the rim. Spread the onions over the ricotta mixture.
5. Place in the hot oven, and bake 10 to 15 minutes until the crust and bits of the onion are nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and serve hot or warm.

Simple Swiss Chard

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks discarded, leaves cut into wide ribbons
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste 
Heat the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until tender and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and balsamic vinegar; cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Spanish Chard


  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces raisins
  • 2 ounces pine nuts
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and pour in enough water to reach just below the bottom of the insert. Bring the water to a boil. Add the chard and steam until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook the raisins and pine nuts in the hot oil until the pine nuts turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chard, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking while stirring constantly until the chard is hot, about 2 minutes. 
Gingered Chard

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard - leaves and stems separated and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 (1/4 inch thick) slices fresh ginger root, peeled and julienned
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup 
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chopped chard stems, onion, and ginger in the hot oil until they begin to soften; season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped chard leaves to the skillet; reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until the leaves have wilted, about 2 minutes more. Drizzle the maple syrup over the mixture; stir to coat evenly. Remove from heat and serve.

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