Rainbow Chard

Posted in Farmer's Market, Local Eats, Side Dish, Spring, Vegetable, Winter on Mar 16, 2010


At the Farmer’s Market, we picked up some gorgeous rainbow chard. After shocking myself by loving the collard greens earlier this year (although admittedly, they were WAY WAY overcooked) I figured that chard would be equally yummy. The kids all oohed and aahed about the colorful stalks and we grabbed two bunches. Leafy greens – with bonus color – is a very exciting proposition. Since I wasn’t going to be cooking with them the same day, I put them in a vase of cold water in the fridge, and they stayed nice and perky. Plus, they were very pretty:


Back at home, I did a quick search for chard recipes, uncovering a zillion versions of the olive oil, garlic, red pepper, lemon juice, saute method. I’m all for simple and easy, and this approach seemed to be The Way To Go, if you trust the internet for your recipe needs. (I totally trust the internet.)

Although, I will say that this recipe for a rather unconventional lasagne sounds super fab. Mushrooms, Rainbow Chard and Gruyere Lasagne? YES PLEASE. But for my first time out of the gate, I’m going to try to method that 90% of the internet seems to recommend.

Aaaand, here we go:

You know, I don’t know why I even bother to take these group shots with this lens, since it is turning out such weird, unfocused results lately. But here they are, America…Your Top 8.

  • two bunches of rainbow chard
  • one small yellow onion, sliced
  • two small cloves of garlic, sliced
  • two tablespoons of butter
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • olive oil

So, first off, I gave the chard a good wash, and then cut it into 1-inch ribbons.  And then I washed it again and busted out the spinner, because you KNOW how I love that thing.


Then, I added the sliced garlic and  onion to a some heated olive oil and added salt and pepper and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.


Next, I added the cleaned chard:


And about 1/4 cup of water, and then I covered the whole thing for about 5 minutes.  Mmm.  Wilted!


Then I tossed it around a bit, and cooked it for another couple of minutes.  And then?  I added butter.  Aw yeah.


This probably goes on record as one of the weirdest dinners ever, because I was so into veggie mode that I didn’t really think about the rest.  I had some rice made, and I ended up combining a can of plain tomato sauce with a can of kidney beans and frying up two sweet Italian sausages and mixing all that together for the main entree.  It was good, but sort of weird.


Predictibly, The Boy was not enthusiastic, although he took a few mouthfuls under duress and complained bitterly the whole time.  I enjoyed the chard, but it was on the slimy side again, and I’m just not sure that’s how things are supposed to be.  I think the next time, I’ll try something like the lasagne I linked above.

The kids ate it, but didn’t love it.  I’ll call it a partial success.

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5 to “Rainbow Chard”

  1. Jenny says:

    I have only had swiss chard once but it was a total hit in my Curry recipe. I just happened to have some swiss chard instead of celery and so I used it instead. As I understand it swiss chard can be used in any recipe in place of celery or spinach.
    But something you want to be sure of is to cook the leaves and the stems at different lengths of time because the leaves will overcook in the time it takes the stems to soften up. Most places recommend cooking the stems 3-4 minutes and then adding the leaves and cooking it all another 3-4 minutes. That way its all nice and soft without getting too slimy. 🙂 Hope that helps and if you wanted the recipe for swiss chard curry just let me know. I was amazed with the results since even my 20 month old loved it!

  2. Britney says:

    I agree with Jenny above, you need to cook the stems first before adding the leaves. I’ve not experimented with swiss chard, but my husband and I LOVE beet greens. They are quite similar I hear. My beet green recipe calls for basically the same thing you did: onion, garlic, and I squeeze lemon juice on at the end. It gives it a tartness we enjoy. Or, I cook up the greens with bacon, because c’mon, everything is better with bacon. Good luck and keep trying!

  3. My fav! I am attempting to grow some in my little backyard as we speak! Good stuff!
    Healthy Mamma´s last blog ..Caprese Salad My ComLuv Profile

  4. P.S. don’t use olive oil, it tends to be “slimy” for me too. I use a insy bit of grape seed oil to saute my onion and then add the rinsed chard with water still on it. The water will steam for about 3 minutes. You should have a little browning going on in the bottom of your pan (med-high heat) then at the very last second, squeeze lemon juice and scrape bottom of pan, then remove from heat. Kids seam to like the tartness of lemon juice. hope you try it again, yum!
    Healthy Mamma´s last blog ..Caprese Salad My ComLuv Profile

  5. yikes, sorry, I ment to say I don’t use olive oil. 😉
    p.s.s. 😉 It doesn’t have a high smoke point so not so good for sauteing greens.
    Healthy Mamma´s last blog ..Caprese Salad My ComLuv Profile

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