This richly flavored yet simple recipe of chard with raisins and pecans is a fantastic side dish to serve on its own or over a grain. It’s especially welcome when your garden or farm market is bursting with any variety of chard — Swiss, green, or rainbow.
This recipe is a cousin to Mediterranean Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins. combining greens with raisins and nuts is traditional to Italian and other cuisines, and it works quite well with chard, which has a natural slight saltiness. The sweet raisins are a perfect foil.
Greens swap-ins: This recipe also works well with an equal amount of stemmed and chopped or sliced kale (any variety), collard greens (cut into narrow ribbons), spinach (any variety), or escarole.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chard (any variety — green, Swiss, or rainbow; 10 to 12 ounces)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Garlic, fresh
- Red wine, white wine, apple cider, or apple juice
- Pecans (about 1/2 cup)
- Raisins (about 1/3 cup)
- Salt and pepper
- Dried hot red pepper flakes (optional)
What is chard?
Chard is a leafy green vegetable that’s related to both beets and spinach. It’s often generically called Swiss chard, which is indeed one common variety. But there are several others, including rainbow, silverbeet, and green chard, and many more. See this site’s complete Guide to Chard.
Is chard good for you? A look at the nutrition profile of chard gives lots of good reasons to keep it in your rotation, especially during the summer, when it’s so plentiful. Offering a generous supply of vitamins and minerals, chard is also packed with fiber and even has a decent amount of protein for a leafy vegetable.
How to serve chard with raisins and pecans
Another way to enjoy this dish is to make it more substantial by serving over grains (farro is particularly good with this) or soft polenta, as shown in the photo below.
Recipe is from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
Explore more …
- Chard recipes — Tasty Ways to Prepare and Abundant Leafy Green
- Italian-Style Braised Chard with Tomatoes
- Stir-Fried Chard with Napa Cabbage
- 10 to 12 ounces chard (any variety — green, Swiss, or rainbow)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine, white wine, apple cider, or apple juice
- 1/3 cup raisins
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (see Note)
- Cut the chard leaves away from the stems. Trim about an inch from the bottom of the stems, then slice thinly, or if you prefer, discard them (though this dish is particularly pretty and tasty with thinly sliced rainbow chard stems).
- Stack a few leaves at a time and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons. Chop the ribbons in a few places to shorten; repeat with all the leaves. Place in a colander and rinse well.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden. Add the wine and as much chard as will fit comfortably in the pan. Cover and allow to wilt down briefly; continue to add all the chard until it’s all in the pan. Cook until tender but still bright green, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the raisins, then season with salt and pepper. Add hot red pepper flakes if using. Scatter the pecans over the top and serve at once, straight from the skillet.
Vary the greens: This works well with chopped or sliced kale (any variety), collard greens (cut into narrow ribbons), spinach (any variety) or escarole.
Toast the pecans briefly in a small skillet before adding if you’d like, to bring out their lovely aroma.
Find lots more plant-forward salads & sides.