warm swiss chard salad

March 12, 2014 § 68 Comments


I ran out to the market the other day to buy what we needed to make this warm salad.  With kale being the go-to leafy green these days naturally I headed toward that section of the produce area when these beautiful stalks of swiss chard caught my eye.  Crisp leaves, firm ribs, vibrant color, organic and huge!  I couldn’t resist.


Swiss chard has an extended growing season here in the Pacific Northwest; the harvest timeframe is mid June all the way through March.  Even after what feels like a long winter I still see chard and kale growing in p-patches through out the city.  Goes to show how mild our winters are here in Seattle.  Nothing to complain about folks.


Perhaps it is how the leaves retain their thickness after steaming, or the color vibrancy of red and green that I love so much about chard.  Or maybe preparing it like this on a Saturday morning and adding a poached egg and dry aged thick cut bacon on top seals the deal.  


Swiss chard, shallots, a little cream and lemony breadcrumbs make up this wholesome and substantial salad.  Another fine recipe adapted from my favorite cooking magazine, Bon Appétit.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • ½ cup torn fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Sea salt
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, ribs and stems cut into 2” lengths, leaves torn into 2” pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

M e t h o d

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Toss breadcrumbs, oil, and lemon zest on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt.  Toast them in the oven, tossing once, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook chard leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Squeeze the liquid out and dry off in a clean kitchen towel.
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and chard ribs and stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until tender, 5–8 minutes.  Add cream; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring, until warmed through and coated with cream sauce; season with salt and pepper.  Top Swiss chard with breadcrumbs just before serving.


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§ 68 Responses to warm swiss chard salad

  • Valerie says:

    I just love warm salads, and this is a beautiful update to my spinach and bacon go-to. Anything with heavy cream is automatically good.

    But, actually, my MOST favorite salad at the moment is sliced raw Brussels sprouts with a simple lemon vinaigrette. I love the texture and the sweetness of the little sprouts, which are more tender and mild than sliced cabbages (although I like adding sliced cabbage to the salads, as well).

    So jealous you’re able to grow chard this time of year in your neck of the woods. We’re under snow again, so I won’t be able to set out my chard seeds until next week or beyond.

    P.S. I couldn’t wait. I ate the carrots (and some parsnips!). I just roasted simply with olive oil and S&P. They were outstanding, despite their long winter nap and, I’ll tell you, nary a bug blemish so maybe there’s something to overwintering root veggies. I thought we’d be too cold in my zone to overwinter, but perhaps not.

    • Love roasted carrots and parsnips too! Sounds like the perfect way to prepare your overwintered carrots. I haven’t grown chard yet, but this year I’m going to add them to the garden, especially if we can continue to eat off of them for the winter months. Of course this was a mild winter and my luck I’ll plant and the ground will freeze for days next year! :) I’ll have to try your brussels sprout salad, it sounds great! Sort of like a fancy cole slaw. Delicious!

  • Trixpin says:

    Ooooh I’ve not had a warm salad for a-g-e-s and I could SO do with one right now!

    Those chard leaves look gorgeous. We’ve had some in the garden all winter but unlike our spinach the leaves have gone small, tough and curled and some have a rusty tinge lower down the leaves. Very boring.

    I love the sound of those lemony croutons too :)

    • Those chards leaves don’t sound like something you would want to eat at all! :) Maybe that is how the stalks are here in the p-patches too. Have to admit I haven’t moved in close enough to inspect them, but they sure are attractive from a distance. Normally I would dress warm chard with a lemon, olive oil & garlic dressing, which is so delicious, but not for breakfast! This was nice and mild for morning.

  • Alex says:

    Ooh I loove swiss chard but I’ve never thought of making a salad with it, what a wonderful idea. This looks beautiful and delicious!

  • thebrookcook says:

    This is fabulous! Swiss chard is one of my favorites– I have never made a salad with it!! I love this :)

    • Thank you! Perhaps make a salad with your swiss chard next time you pick up a bunch? Any type dressing is wonderful with this, I kept it on the mild side since it was early in the day. It was wonderful for breakfast. Breakfast of champions! :)

  • You are right about kale being the greens to buy these days. So I am usually looking for new ways to prepare it. This recipe looks dleicious

  • Amanda says:

    This looks delicious. I like how you used the whole thing and not just the leaves. Gorgeous.

    • Thank you Amanda. Good point! I don’t always use the ribs and I don’t know why. Well, cooking them a little in the skillet before adding the leaves helped to make them nice and tender. I liked them! I think I’ll do this for now on. :)

  • There’s a snowstorm in Montreal right now… I love snow, but now it’s too much… I miss Italy and its warm weather! your wonderful salad could be the confort food I need, something different from the soups that I use to prepare with this weather… thanks for sharing!

    • The weather sounds rough all over the place, except here! Crazy as it might sound I would welcome a snowstorm right now. Nothing like the weather and climate to bring out homesickness. I imagine Italy is a dream for you right now. Hope your storm blows over quickly.

  • I can taste that butter, lemon zest and cream with beautiful greens in my mouth. The wetaer is so bad here….this is going to heal me :). Beautiful flavors.

  • My French Heaven says:

    I always felt that warm salads were under appreciated. I will try your recipe for sure. I make a scallop salad with mixed greens and raspberry vinegar that my mom loves…

  • ladyredspecs says:

    You’re a wonderful vegetable recipe resource Seana, yet another winner. Personally I much prefer chard to kale, this would be perfect for breakfast for me

    • I must be accomplishing my goal here. To be a resource for wonderful vegetable recipes! ;) Thank you Sandra. It was nice to revisit chard after shunning it for a period of time. Move over kale! Chard is back…

  • That looks incredibly delicious!

  • Oh wow, I love warm salads, love swiss chard. Really great recipe Seana. Your photo’s are beautiful and I want your gorgeous yellow dish!

  • We must be very much on the same wavelength today Seana – I’ve been thinking of making a warm salad too! It’s cooling down here and a little overcast, so something like this would be perfect! :)

    • I thought this salad would go over well in your neck of the woods too. This works for the start of autumn and as well as the end of winter. Although apparently there are blizzards in the eastern part of the states today! Wouldn’t think it was the end of winter, but smack in the middle. It’s gorgeous where I am. Hope you decide to make a warm salad, it’s so nice.

  • A beautiful vegetable that is local to you – and prepared simply but beautifully. The chard really shines, Seana. This is a gorgeous and flavorful plate. I can image the textures and mouthfeel is wonderful, too. Now I am craving a delicious CGH swiss chard salad.

    • Again…you nailed it…wonderful mouthfeel! That is exactly why I like chard so much. It has a wonderful mouthfeel. :) Thank you Shanna, alway love your comments and descriptions…

  • Seana..what a gorgeous salad.. The lemon..the butter…the shallots… combined with the swiss chard, and then topped with the egg makes it a “close my eyes and savor the moment” kind of salad.
    As always… perfect in every way.. xx

    • HI Prudy. Thank you! It’s a great salad, full of goodness to start the day off right. And of course the bacon…it was the best bacon I’ve ever bought from Whole Foods. It is dry aged and thick cut. So good!

  • cheri says:

    What a wonderful salad, love everything about this. We spend our summers in Oregon and we have such a beautiful garden, chard grows like a weed, keeping this recipe in a safe place.

    • How lovely Cheri! Where in Oregon? I’m curious. We love Oregon and have always wanted to live there. Seattle seems to keep our interest though. Very similar climate, much more populated though. The restaurant scene is off the charts, isn’t it! I’ve been having a hard time leaving comments on your blog. Did you finally receive a comment on your Lemon Frosted Pistachio Cake?

  • I effing love this shit! My type of salad right there! Just wondering if I may have missed something – what’s a p-patch?

    • Well, for a good laugh I am going to just copy/paste this outrageous description of what a p-patch is all about! Only in this city… (eyes rolling).

      P-Patches are an open space resource for all members of the community, not just gardeners, and are places to share love of gardening, cultivate friendships, strengthen neighborhoods, increase self-reliance, wildlife habitat, foster environmental awareness, relieve hunger, improve nutrition, and enjoy recreational and therapeutic opportunities.

  • chefjulianna says:

    Ooooohhhh…I am mmmmming as I bookmark this salad. It is right up my alley. What a delicious salad!

    • Oh good! I’m always so happy when I bookmark a recipe that resonates with me. Gives me something to look forward to! My bookmark list continues to grow, but the nice thing about it is I never run out of inspiration and ideas when I’m making a shopping list. Thank you Julianna.

  • Salads are always welcome on my table and yours is very yummy .

    • Sometimes I forget about making a hearty salad. Most of my salads are normally tender spring greens and herbs. This was nice as a stand alone meal. Didn’t need anything else. Satisfying and quite filling too.

  • This would be so beautiful for a brunch party. Along with champagne cocktails and a basket of beautiful croissants and breads. I think I may have to organize such a thing! ;)

    • Oh and how I wish I could attend! Can you imagine how much fun we could have? And I can think of a few more people to fill the empty seats…like Prudy, Amanda, Johnny…the list goes on. :) Enjoy your upcoming weekend. We are headed to Idaho for a visit. The open prairie and cold crisp air.

  • ChgoJohn says:

    I’m very interested in this. I love chard but have never seen it used quite like this. How creative — and I bet tasty, too. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe and idea.

    • Thank you John for such a kind comment. Chard has made it’s way back into my kitchen after preparing this. It was a forgotten hearty green since discovering the may different varietals of kale. We love leafy greens and sometimes I get so carried away preparing other vegetables. It’s nice to come back to the simplicity of leafy greens.

  • Wow.. this looks DELICIOUS!

  • Karen says:

    Love your beautiful salad. I grown rainbow chard in my flower gardens in Maine during the summer because of their beauty leaves. I’ll save this recipe for later this summer.

  • Liz says:

    Finally, someone looking beyond kale :-) Looks wonderful and am with you that the heartier greens are underappreciated. You’ve done well here!!

  • Shari says:

    I am so happy you posted this recipe. I have never eaten Swiss Chard, and my husband just brought home 6 Swiss Chard plants from the nursery. I had no idea what to do with it. Now when it is ready, I can use your recipe. Thanks so much. I am looking forward to it.

  • Patty Nguyen says:

    This looks delicious! Your photos are gorgeous as well!

    • Thank you so much Patty. :) I always struggle with the photos, that’s for sure, so you compliment is not taken lightly!

      • Patty Nguyen says:

        Photos are hard! A bad session will dampen my mood like nothing else, and a good session does the complete opposite. I took some photos yesterday and the lighting happened to be perfect, which made me cheerful all day long. :D

  • I’m not a salad person… but you have me interested… and the fact that its warm…. I’m IN

    • Warm salads are so delicious! Especially using a good hearty green like this. And what’s nice is the dressing doesn’t have to be tangy or vinegary at all. Hope you give it a try, it’s great!

  • Saskia (1=2) says:

    Wow. That sounds like a seriously, seriously good breakfast. All my favourite flavours and textures in the same bowl. We love our spinach for breakfast, but I can imagine lovely tart swiss chard pairing beautifully with a creamy egg. I’ve never in my life sampled dry aged thick cut bacon, but I’m guessing it must be far superior to the pre-packaged supermarket variety!

    • I think the thick cut dry aged bacon is completely different than the pre-packaged supermarket variety, and I like the latter of the two also! I find this bacon at the butcher rather than the supermarket. It’s not as salty and “cured” tasting. It’s lovely for sure. And swiss chard really is wonderful for breakfast! A bit heartier for sure than spinach.

  • This looks absolutely divine!

  • Michelle says:

    I must remember this when our CSA chard overload season begins! I love warm salads.

  • I love swiss chards…they are so beautiful as a vegetable in a lot of amazing dishes! Yum!

  • Wow, looks delicious,
    never had warm salad veggies before, tempting to try!!!

  • Great looking salad!

  • laurasmess says:

    For some reason I automatically assumed that those gorgeous bread batons on top of this salad were bacon… I kept reading over your ingredient list, searching for bacon, and alas… there was none to be had! Obsessed much?! Anyway, bacon aside, this looks absolutely beautiful. I love warm salads, particularly in the in-between seasons. This is a beautiful use of swiss chard (a much underrated vegetable, in my opinion!). x

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