Chard is beloved in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines, so it’s fitting to combine it with tomatoes, basil, and other ingredients typical to the region. Braised chard with tomatoes can be served as a side dish or bolstered with white beans or chickpeas.
Boost it with beans: For a more filling dish, see the variation at the bottom of the recipe box. Adding 1 1/2 to 2 cups of white beans or chickpeas will make this an even heartier dish. Serve on its own in shallow bowls with crusty bread, or over hot cooked grains. It’s delicious served over farro, a type of whole wheat berry popular in Italian cuisine.
Though chard is generally available year-round, it practically explodes in midsummer gardens and farm markets. Take full advantage with dishes like this one that highlight it!
Substitute other greens: Swap in kale or escarole for all or part of the chard. Prep kale as directed for the chard in the recipe box. For escarole, you need not cut the leaves away from the stems to prep separately; the stem is tender, so simply slice or chop through the leaves.
Add white beans or chickpeas to make this a heartier dish
A leafy green 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 more. For this particular dish, my favorite to use is green chard, but feel free to use whatever kind you have available.
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.
Get lots more information in this site’s Guide to Chard — With Tips on How to Buy, Prep, Cook, & Freeze. as well as more chard recipes.
Are you looking for more ways to use all kinds of leafy greens? Recipe is from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 10 to 12 ounces chard, any variety
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine, vegetable broth, or water
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced pitted black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley, or a combination, or more, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cut the chard leaves away from the stems. Trim about an inch off the bottom of the stems, then slice them thinly. Cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces or ribbons.
- Heat the oil in a large steep-sided skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until both are golden.
- Add the wine, chard leaves, and stems. Cover and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or so, until the chard is wilted and bright green.
- Stir in the tomatoes, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the chard are just tender and the tomatoes are lightly cooked down.
- Stir in the olives and basil and/or parsley, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Variation: To make this more hearty, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked or canned (drained and rinsed) cannellini beans or chickpeas.
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