Monday, May 17, 2010

What should I do with all that Swiss chard?

My mother did not serve many "greens" when I was growing up. She does make a wonderful wilted spinach salad but as a child it was loved for the bacon, not the spinach. She also puts fresh spinach into different salads (my mother is an amazing salad person). I don't remember ever having Swiss chard at home.

My first experience was when a neighbor gave me a bundle of chard from her garden. We were walking partners that summer. At the end of a walk one evening she invited me to come see her pretty vegetable garden. After the tour she sent me home with a big handful of crisp Swiss chard. Once chopped, I mixed it with ricotta and cottage cheese for lasagna. I have used the same cheese mixture to stuff pasta, which makes it very much like lasagna, just looks a little different.

My Lasagna Recipe

I like Swiss chard julienned and dropped into soup just before serving. It will keep its bright green color briefly so serve it quick. Try it roughly chopped and mixed into your next quiche

Deborah Madison has a recipe in "The Greens Cook Book" that combines buckwheat linguine and French lentils with carrots and chard…. I'll let you know how that turns out. She, by the way, saves the stems for soup stock.

Annie Summerville, author of "Fields of Greens" considers chard a winter vegetable. My favorite recipe from her book is "Fettuccini with Chard, Currants, Walnuts, and Brown Butter" Since some believe that the Pacific northwest is in perpetual winter, I suppose that it is safe to serve Annie's chard creation in May.

The authors of "The New Laurel's Kitchen" (new was in 1986) suggest that young chard is good served over brown rice when added to sautéed onion with raisins. Sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds. They also turned me on to adding chard to sautéed onion, garlic and a teaspoon of fresh ginger before tossing with a sprinkle of soy sauce and a chopped tomato. Serve it over potatoes (mashed, smashed or steamed and cubed) or rice. It is also good over pasta. Another New Laurel's Kitchen suggestion is to stuff it into Pita with cottage cheese or to stuff and bake the leaves. If requested I will give links to both of my adaptations.

Swiss chard is just too good to be covered in hot oil, wilted and dropped on a plate.


  1. I'm having trouble linking to my own recipe. You might have to copy and paste the address to your navigation bar and go in that way.

  2. Yeish....hopefully the problem is fixed.

  3. Thanks for the info on chard. I've added it to my list of recipes to try next time I cut chard. My dau-in-law told me she'd use it like she uses spinach, as in spinach lasagna and salad. We're going to try a few recipes to see which we like best.
    Thanks again,