Swiss Chard

by | Feb 8, 2011 | Vegetable Recipes

Believe it or not, I have a kid that wants more green vegetables in her diet. If we go a few days without a green vegetable I hear about it. Carrots, green salad, cauliflower–not green or not dark green enough. I created this monster by introducing broccoli to both of my girls at a very early age. The way that I snuck it into their diet was by putting into my pasta dishes. During the last two minutes of the pasta boiling, I would throw in broccoli and then drain and serve it with the pasta. The girls will now eat broccoli steamed, without anything on it.

Trying new green veggie recipes is sometimes difficult because I usually don’t get home from work until after 6:30 pm and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for experimenting with recipes if we want to eat before 7:30 pm. However, on Monday night I decided to try Swiss chard. I have never eaten it before–I once bought kale and thought it was Swiss chard, but this time I had the real deal to try. And, this time I had both the red and green varieties to try.

Red and green Swiss chard

When I got home on Monday night, I quickly Googled Swiss chard recipes and tried the second one I found. As always, I modified the recipe. The girls really liked the finished dish, however, we all thought that toasted pine nuts would have been a great addition–but then, we always think that.

Since I had never eaten Swiss chard, I wanted to see if we would be able to taste the difference between the green and the red, so I cooked each separately. To me, the red Swiss chard tasted a little earthy, much like the earthy taste that red beets have.

One thing to keep in mind when cooking Swiss chard is that it really reduces in size when it is cooked to a tender stage. The plate that the Swiss chard is on in the photo below is 7″ in diameter. So, each bunch cooked down to less than one cup.

As it turns out, Swiss chard is considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Among other benefits, it is very high in vitamins K, A, and C, magnesium, potassium and iron.

The finished Swiss chard: green on left, red on the right

Quick and Easy Swiss Chard

– 4 small servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese


Remove and discard the stems from the Swiss chard. Cut the Swiss chard into long strips and then cut these strips in half. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic for about two minutes–until it starts to brown. Add the Swiss chard and mix it with the olive oil and garlic. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook the chard for about 7 minutes until it is wilted and tender. Season with the salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and cover for a minute or two until the cheese melts and then serve.