Sautéed Swiss Chard and Spinach

Mixing in the greensNot long ago, Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen posted a fabulous-looking recipe for chard stems. It had never occurred to me to cook chard stems separately from the rest of the chard—while I realize they’re tougher than the leaves and require a slightly longer cooking time, I’ve always circumvented that issue by just cooking them first, then adding the leaves later.

I’ll admit a little laziness is at play, too. I’m not one to spend the time actually slicing the leaves from the chard stems. I tend, instead, to take my bunch of chard and chop it up almost like I’m chiffonading basil—I roll it into a monster log of leaves, then slice narrow ribbons by cutting perpendicular to the log. It’s effective, albeit unorthodox.

When I have worked my way through the leaves, I just chop up the part of the stems that stick out at the bottom, and keep those in a separate pile. I usually trim the bottom Stems and garlicquarter-inch or so of the stems, just to keep the raggedy pieces out of whatever I’m cooking.

When I actually get to the cooking part, I usually toss in the stems and garlic (in the case of the garlic photographed to the left, it’s garlic I actually grew in my very own garden, and therefore I swear it’s that much more delicious…) at the same time—that seems to create just the right balance of cooking time. In this case, I mix spinach and the chard leaves, and put them in later, and generally cook them just long enough to wilt them down. The result? Perfectly cooked stems, perfectly cooked leaves, and a delicious side dish that I could eat just about every day.

Sauteed chard and spinachSautéed Swiss Chard and Spinach
(Serves 4 as a side dish)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 10 oz. bag baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Wash and dry the chard, then remove the stems from the leaves in any method you deem appropriate (To do this IG-style, chop the stems off at the base of the leaves, and be sure to trim the very bottom parts). Chop the stems into 1/2-inch lengths and set them aside.
  2. Roll the leaves together into a big log, as if you were making a chiffonade of basil, and slice thin strips by cutting perpendicular to the log.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan, and when it is hot, add the garlic and the chard stems. Sauté, stirring often, until the garlic just starts to brown and the stems are softening up.
  4. Add the sliced chard leaves and the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring the mixture until what you’ve put in is cooked down enough to make room for the next handfuls. Once all the chard and spinach is in the pan, put a lid on it and wait for about a minute or two.
  5. Remove the lid, stir, add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

This is my post for Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Ramona from the Houndstooth Gourmet. Stop by Ramona’s place on Monday to see the full round-up!

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10 Responses to “Sautéed Swiss Chard and Spinach”


  1. 1 Nancy Bond March 27, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Great recipe! I love fresh greens, especially chard.

  2. 2 ourfriendben March 27, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Yum!!! Unfortunately, this recipe would probably make enough for one if I were the one eating it…

  3. 3 Jen (aaron-n-jen.com) March 27, 2008 at 8:43 am

    I do believe I’ve never had chard. I just recently introduced myself and my family to bok choy, so I guess it’s time to move on to the next unfamiliar produce item!

  4. 4 Kalyn March 27, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    This sound really wonderful. I thought about chard just yesterday and made a note to myself about looking for it at the market this weekend. Thanks for mentioning the chard stems post, I loved that way of cooking them.

  5. 5 wayne March 27, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    looks good. one of our favored meals si called garlicky swiss chard and chick peas…

  6. 6 Curtis March 27, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Sounds and looks great. Ive never tried swiss chard before. Must go to a big grocery store and find some.

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener March 28, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Nancy, I am a big fan of them, as well.

    Ourfriendben, I have to tell you…I think I ate that whole recipe in two servings, but only because I had a bunch of other food on the side. I could eat the whole pan, too.

    Jen, bok choy is quite tasty, but if you like it, I bet you’ll like chard, too.

    Kalyn, you’re quite welcome — I definitely want to give your recipe a try!

    Wayne, that sounds like a really great recipe — have you shared it on your blog?

    Curtis, oh, if you haven’t tried it, I highly encourage you to do so!

  8. 8 cole March 29, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I think Chard and Spinach need a bit of acid when cooking to bring out their flavor and get rid of the bitter. I use a bit of cider or balsamic vinegar just before they are wilted and then cover for 2 minutes. I also like sauted pinenuts on sauted greens or seasame seeds are good toasted too. And raisins are yum. This place on the cape sautes spinach with fresh pepper, garlic, golden raisins and pinenuts. So. good.

    I also like to use a touch of maple syrup (real not the corn syrup variety, ick) to sweeten if I don’t use fruit.

    Our CSA days are on their way in June…you are making me miss the greens. WEll, not the arugula, but everything else.
    xx

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener March 29, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Cole, all those variations sound fantastic! Love the chard…just love it…and I can’t wait for the farmer’s market to open again!


  1. 1 The Houndstooth Gourmet » Weekend Herb Blogging #126- Bloggers Unite! Trackback on April 2, 2008 at 10:40 am

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