When it comes to healthy greens, it seems like kale is still the darling. And in all the hoopla it’s easy to overlook it’s colorful cousin…swiss chard, which is actually a member of the beet family and is rich in vitamins A K and C as well as minerals, fiber and protein.

Chard, which comes in a number of varieties, is just now being harvested in the Northeast states. It’s nutritious leaves can be eaten raw, boiled or sauteed; in salads, pastas, omelets or alone.

Young chard can be sauteed in about 5 minutes or so just until the leaves are wilted and tender.  All you need is some olive oil, garlic and maybe some pepper flakes to bring out its delicate flavor. Stop here and you have an instant side dish.

But if you want to make a meal of it, add a splash of broth or a few pats of butter and toss it with pasta; fold it into an omelet with melted cheese or a quesadilla; or do what I did here…

A Quinoa/Swiss Chard Salad – Mediterranean Style…after all, that’s it’s roots.


2 cups cooked quinoa

1 bunch young swiss chard

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons broth (vegetable or chicken)

1 medium garlic clove – finely chopped

6 kalamata olives – diced

6 cherry tomatoes – diced

Salt and pepper to taste


Chop chard into about 1″ strips along with the more tender parts of the stems. Discard the rest.


Add the oil to a skillet and heat until hot then add the chard. It’ll look like a lot but it’ll cook down like spinach. Cover and stir a few times.


After 3 or 4 minutes, it’ll look like this.


Push the chard to one side, add the garlic and the pepper flakes and cook for less than a minute or until the garlic begins to color. Add the broth, stir and cook for a few moments more then remove from the heat.


Add the cooked quinoa


Add the tomatoes and olives


Season with salt and pepper, give it a stir and serve (warm or cold).

And now over to you. Are you ready to give kale a break? Have you ever cooked swiss chard?

Want to share any tips with us?


  1. Jeannette Toews August 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I had just cooked up some Swiss chard and added some tahini & salt for a flavorful meal.

    • chefsilvia August 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      That sounds great Jeannette and so easy! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Ed August 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Delicious Silvia — washed down with some Swiss chard-kale Med wine — ummm…

    • chefsilvia August 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Fantastic Ed! Thanks so much for letting me know.

  3. Dolores LaChance August 20, 2014 at 2:24 am - Reply

    Hi Silvia,
    Can’t wait to try this salad with orgainc chard!!

    Swiss chard has been a staple in our home for years. I cook it like my Mom sometimes as a side with diced potatoes.

    After saute`ing chopped onion and garlic in olive oil, add the diced potaoes and just barely cover with water. Cook until just about done, then add the chopped swiss chard and steam
    lightly. Delicious.

  4. Tania August 23, 2014 at 3:03 am - Reply

    I just had a dish of my own home-grown, I buy the young seedlings, and once grown, remove only the outside leaves for cooking and it will continue to grow new leaves until the beginning of fall. Last year it wintered over and I continued to use it this summer. I don’t know if it will winter again, but if not will just buy seedlings again next spring from my local nursery.

  5. Steve April 14, 2017 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Prepping some chard salad right now…we’re having ours RAW!

    Just for the record, there really is nothing Swiss about chard…they don’t even grow it much.

    Also, chard isn’t just ‘of the beet family’, it is the same species as beets, just a (human-made) variety of beet that doesn’t have a big fleshy root.

    Similarly, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, broccoli and cauliflower are all varieties of the same species of plant.

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