Posted by: A Part of the Solution | January 25, 2013

Chard in the winter

Chard in the winter is a glorious green. The flavor of chard is outstanding in the winter as none of the leaves is heat scorched. Instead, the chard leaf in winter is fat and succulent. Full of flavor, in fact.

So don’t be shy about making the most of the cool season’s bounty. Change up your routine and bring home a couple bunches of chard.

Chard, like its cousin spinach, cooks more quickly than the cruciferous leafy greens: kale, mustard, arugula, tat soi, collards and the like. Chard makes itself agreeable with nearly anything else you may have lying around in the kitchen. Be experimental with chard.

Though the recipe for chard below is a good jumping off point.

Winter Chard Sauté

1-2 tablespoons olive oil or drippings

1/2 lb. mushrooms, trimmed, wiped and sliced

3 fat shallots, or six smaller ones, peeled and minced

1 medium hot pepper, like cherry bomb or jalapeno (optional), seeded and diced small

2 bunches rainbow, golden or swiss chard, floated with a capful of vinegar to get the grit loose, then floated a second time, drained and stripped from their stems–chop the stems into 1/2 inch lengths

1/2 teaspoon grains of paradise

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar, or Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon (or to taste) salt

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the fat over a medium flame. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and sprinkle some of the salt from the measured teaspoon onto the mushrooms. Stir them around a few times Let them cook for four more minutes.

Add the shallots to the pan, and the chili pepper if using. Stir once or twice and let the veggies cook together for five minutes. Add the chard stems and the grains of paradise. Let these cook for eight minutes. Slice the damp chard leaves into large squares. Add them to the skillet, along with the vinegar. Put a lid on the skillet, lower the heat and let everything cook for another six to ten minutes. Stir the chard once or twice as it cooks.

Take the lid from the pot and let the chard cook for another one or two minutes. Serve this hot from the stove, or at room temperature. It’s tasty both ways.



  1. grains of paradise?

    • Did I forget the link? here’s a good one: They’re the seed of a plant in the ginger family. It’s a nice peppery-gingery flavor. It rocks with mushrooms, leeks and goat cheeses especially as well as lamb and eggplant preparations from Africa. The plant is native to a coastal region centered on the Cote d’Ivoire. Grains of Paradise is worth tracking down.

  2. …and as I know first hand, leftovers of this added to a frittata totally rock.

    • Yup. They also work in a morning omelet for the same reason.

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