I sometimes think Swiss chard gets overlooked, almost as if it’s considered kale’s less popular cousin. This is an entirely unfair cold-shouldering as this beautiful leaf is not only incredibly delicious, but an absolute nutritional powerhouse in its own right.
Unlike kale, Swiss chard contains the unique form of antioxidants usually associated with beetroot (think of their rainbow coloured stalks and all of a sudden it makes sense!). These potent plant based compounds support anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxification processes within the body, in particular those involved in the second phase of Liver detoxification. So I think from that we can definitely conclude that the beauty of chard extends far beyond its gorgeous appearance!
In terms of flavour this wonderful vegetable is also more delicate than it’s slightly woodier pals. The leaves are softer, more in line with spinach, and the stems are similar to celery, although slightly less fibrous. In this dish it works absolutely beautifully, marrying the different flavours and textures of the other ingredients together in perfect harmony.
I would whole heartedly suggest dabbling and experimenting with these gorgeous greens if they aren’t a regular inclusion in your diet already. Try tossing into broth based soups to wilt down at the last minute, stir through risotto or pasta dishes, or simply sauté with garlic in coconut oil, all are truly divine! 🙂
- 400g cannellini beans
- 1 large or 2 medium white onions (if you can’t find these use ~4-5 golf ball sized spring onions or 3 large leeks instead)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 large vine tomatoes
- 400g Swiss chard
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- Peel and halve the onions, then halve again lengthways before slicing as thinly as possible. Add to a large pan with the coconut oil and heat on a medium flame until melted, stir to coat the slices in the oil and gently break apart. Cover with a lid and turn the heat down low to sweat gently for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile peel and crush the garlic to a paste or dice finely, and chop the tomatoes into small cubes, add both the pan with the onions, mixing well then continuing to cook gently for a further 6-7 minutes with the lid off.
- Drain and rinse the beans, shaking off any excess liquid before adding them to the pan. Toss everything together, season with the salt, pepper and oregano before replacing the lid and leaving to gently simmer for 10 minutes.
- Roughly chop the chard leaves and cut the stems into 1cm slices, add to the pan and recover to allow the leaves to wilt for a few minutes. Stir everything together and cook for a further 5 minutes, if there is a lot of fluid in the pan do this with the lid off.
- Serve topped with slices of baked chicken breast or a poached egg for a fabulous dinner, or with cubes of avocado and pieces of oatcake as a fabulous brunch or breakfast (one of my favourites either hot or cold :D)