Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is in the beet/spinach family and is packed with nutrients and antioxidants and in ancient times it was used to treat allergies, general pain and digestion issues. Some recipes call for using just the leafy green portion while others use the stalk as well (typically added to the recipe at different points). Stems vary from white/yellow/green to the gorgeous Rainbow Chard pictured above.

BAKED ORZO WITH CHARD, FETA AND DILL
Swiss chard and dill pair up with feta in this quick weeknight pasta dish.

GIGANTE BEANS WITH FETA AND BITTER GREENS
Gigante beans are just fun (if you can’t find them, substitute butter beans). This hearty vegetarian meal highlights them in a tasty one pot dish packed with dill and feta cheese. This is also a great way to use up tomatoes so I keep this on stand-by for when the tomato crops are booming.

HERBY PESTO PASTA SALAD WITH CHARD
I love having a meal that I can make earlier in the day that will be ready whenever my family gets hungry enough to come in from playing outside to eat it. This one is super versatile so you can toss in whatever herbs you have on hand. If you have enough basil, make your own pesto and skip the store bought they list here. I wouldn’t bother steaming the chard in a separate pan – I would just toss it in the pasta water for the last few minutes of cooking time or cook it first in the pasta water and remove with a slotted spoon and then cook your pasta.

HOT SAUSAGE AND CRISPY CHARD PIZZA
This one surprised me with how yummy it was! The crispy chard is amazing.

ITALIAN SAUSAGE WITH GARLICKY GREENS, BEANS & PASTA
(Recipe by Gillian McAuley)
Ingredients: 
4 sweet Italian sausage links (we like Al Fresco’s chicken sausage for this dish)
1 whole bunch of Upswing’s spinach, kale or chard, chopped (all work beautifully!)
1 15 oz. can Cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 a medium sized onion, diced small
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic (or 1-2 chopped garlic scapes!)
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
Some kind of bite size pasta, such as penne or rotini 
Grated parmesan 
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Slice sausage links and brown slices in a large skillet with cooking spray. Remove from the pan once browned and set aside. Start your pasta water boiling. 
2. Add olive oil, onions & garlic to pan and saute on medium heat until onion starts to soften 
3. Pour white wine into the pan with onions & garlic and allow to cook off slightly while deglazing any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Don’t let it all cook off, you want this to become part of your sauce.  
4. Add the beans and add the sausage back to the pan
5. Pour in the broth
6. Toss in the chopped spinach, kale or chard and allow to wilt on low heat (I like to cover the pan at this stage so the liquid doesn’t evaporate while the greens wilt). The mixture can sit covered at low heat while your pasta cooks.
7. Drain cooked pasta, add it to the skillet, toss it all together seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and serve. We love adding grated parmesan to the top! 

FRITTATA BITES WITH CHARD AND FETA
Like a frittata only more fun! The recipe calls for sausage but I’ve made them without, for a vegetarian crowd, and they’re just as delicious. These are great to bring to a brunch or party because they’re bite sized, can be a finger food and are still great at room temperature.

ONE SKILLET POLENTA WITH GREENS & BEANS
This one is a family favorite!

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tube polenta cut in 15 slices
1 can black beans
Few Tbsp Romano
1 lb greens (kale, chard, broccoli, spinach)
1 jar pasta sauce (such as Rao’s marinara)
8 oz sliced havarti
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil

Drizzle olive oil in large skillet. Slice polenta in 1/2″ rounds and lay in skillet. Rinse beans and pour over polenta. Sprinkle with Romano. Rinse and shake greens. Chop coarsely and spread over beans. Top with sauce and cheese and sprinkle with herbs. Put lid on and simmer 5 min. Or make in 9×13 and bake, covered @ 350 for 45 min. Uncover and cook 15 min more.

PENNE WITH CHARD AND SAUSAGE
Swiss Chard pairs perfectly with Italian sausage and pasta in this quick weeknight dish. This recipe is very forgiving and will accept more or less chard depending on what you have on hand. Swap out sweet Italian sausage if you’re not into spicy.

SWISS CHARD AND CHIPOTLE TACOS
Swiss chard, kale and other hearty greens are all great sautéed with garlic as a side dish or baked into pasta dishes, but I have a hard time getting excited about casseroles in the hot summer months. These tacos are the perfect way to use up your greens AND fresh onions.

SWISS CHARD PANCAKES
Can’t get your kids to eat swiss chard? Try hiding it in these delicious savory pancakes!

SWISS CHARD-TAHINI DIP
If you like hummus don’t miss this dip. Pair it up with some warm pita bread or carrot sticks and you’ve got a delicious snack on your hands.

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