Swiss Chard Two Ways

by NICHOLAS AMMATURO on July 29th, 2010

swiss_chard_2_edited-1 My co-worker has been generous enough to share some of the harvest from a farm co-op she belongs to. On my desk this morning was a bag of purple cabbage, lettuce, mariachi peppers, and Swiss chard. I am immediately picturing  a light salad with the cabbage and lettuce and then using blanched Swiss chard leaves to roll up ground beef & the mariachi peppers.

In case you don’t know much about Swiss chard, here is the information from the farms website:

Chard is harvested as a green, leafy vegetable.  Chard is in the spinach family but contains no oxalic acid which makes it easier for us to absorb the nutrients from the chard.  These greens are high in vitamins A, E, & C and the minerals iron & calcium.

Cooking Tips

  • If leaves are large & mature, remove the stem to cook separately.     
  • If the greens are young, cook whole.       
  • Use in place of spinach in most recipes.
  • Saute the leaves in garlic butter or olive oil & garlic.                                    
  • Steam large stem pieces for 8-10 min. & leaves for 4-6 min.                       
  • Raw baby leaves are great in green salads.
  • Toss steamed leaves with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. OR with sesame oil, rice vinegar or soy sauce.

Let’s try these Italian inspired stuffed/rolled Swiss chard leaves


  • 2 TBLS Canola Oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, stems removed
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked white rice/brown rice
  • 1 Red/Green bell pepper (I am using mariachi pepper, which is hotter), diced small
  • 1 cup prepared tomato sauce (homemade take can of plum tomatoes, blend in blender, then cook on stove top to reduce by a 1/4)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In medium frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and diced peppers. Cook 3-4 mins until pepper softens. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, add ground beef , cooked rice, salt, and  2 TBLS of the tomato sauce. Mix well.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Take about 4-5 Swiss chard leaves at a time and blanch in boiling water for a minute and then transfer to ice bath. Remove from ice bath and pat dry with paper towels.

Spread 3-4 TBLS of Tomato Sauce onto bottom of Pyrex dish (enough to have a thin layer of sauce on the bottom)


Lay out leaves, smooth side down and place 3-4 TBLS of beef mixture on largest end of leaf. Roll towards the smaller end, until completely rolled up. Place seam side down in Pyrex baking dish. Continue with the rest of the leaves. Drizzle the remaining sauce over each roll.


Place seam side down in Pyrex baking dish. Continue with the rest of the leaves. Drizzle the remaining sauce over each roll.

DSC_0188  Bake in oven 35-40 mins. Enjoy

So there was extra Swiss chard because some of the leaves weren’t big enough to make into rolls. So I removed the stems from the leaves and roughly chopped them.

Braised Swiss Chard w/ Feta & Craisins


  • 1/2 bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of diced feta
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBLS Canola Oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute. Place stems into pan first, 3-5 mins to soften them up. Then add leaves

DSC_0196 Cook for 5 mins until wilted and then remove from heat. Add 1/2 tsp salt and make sure to taste it because chard can be quite bitter. Stir in feta and craisins.

DSC_0202 DSC_0200

Serve as a side dish or as a snack.


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