What to do with Swiss chard

Swiss Chard

Looking for yummy ideas that will inspire you to cook the gorgeous bunches of Swiss chard, spinach and beet tops available at the market right now? Try this meatless mélange that features lentils as the protein source.

You can use other lentils but try to get the Du Puy lentils if you can. They are grown in volcanic soil that imparts superior flavour and a firm texture that chefs and gourmets love. If they aren’t available, you can use canned green or yellow lentils, but be sure to reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes since the canned version is already fully cooked.

1 bunch Swiss chard, spinach or beet tops
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped shallots or onions
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon peel
1 cup (250 mL) sliced oyster or other mushrooms
1/2 cup (125 mL) Du Puy lentils*
13/4 cups (400 mL) chicken or vegetable broth

Separate the Swiss chard leaves from the stems. Wash and pat dry. Chop the stems into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces and slice the leaves crosswise into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wide ribbons. Reserve.

Melt the butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the Swiss chard stems and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are lightly browned. Remove the mixture from the pan and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots, garlic, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, broth and lemon peel to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until most of the stock has been absorbed and lentils are tender but still whole. Stir in the reserved mushroom mixture and the Swiss chard leaves. Cook, stirring, occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the greens are wilted. Makes 2 servings.

*Tip: Du Puy lentils are also sometimes sold as caviar lentils or French-style lentils


7 Responses to What to do with Swiss chard

  1. Barb says:

    I have red chard in my garden and am looking for things to do with it. Julie has a chard and chickpea recipe that works well and I often just steam it and serve it with lemon juice and butter. I look forward to trying your recipe,too. I may cook a larger batch of lentils to have on hand and shorten the last minute process. Thanks!

  2. Just this week I made a swiss chard and boursin omelette and added some chard to spaghetti carbonara.
    I love this stuff! I hope I get another round in my CSA next week – fricos are next.

  3. I haven’t eaten Swiss chard in years. I have a feeling this will be one of those dishes I’ll love but will have a hard time convincing my husband to eat.

    Interesting note about the lentils. Never heard of Du Puy before.

  4. cheryl says:

    I always feel like I have magical powers when I eat leafy greens. There’s a soundtrack that runs through my head: “I’m eating healthfully! I’m eating healthfully!”

    Of course, 10 minutes later I often snag a muffin.

  5. Rosa says:

    A delicious sounding recipe! Great combo!



  6. Andrea says:

    Walking to the bus stop one morning earlier this week I saw a leaf of swiss chard in my path. For a moment I thought that someone had dropped it from their grocery bag but then noticed that there was a row of it growing in a garden in front of a house just steps in from Christie Street (right across from Wychwood Barns). I happened to see the home owner on my way home that evening and complimented her on her garden.

    These things just didn’t happen when I lived at Yonge and Wellesley. Even though it’s wrong I’m slightly tempted to take some but I learned my lesson from Peter Rabbit – and it’s unethical.
    (So really, I’m not tempted and would feel weird taking even if it was offered because I’m like that.)

    I’ll have to try your recipe.

  7. dinnerwithjulie says:

    Yum – love chard and I have a new bag of du puy lentils in my cupboard. This will definitely go on my to-make list!

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