Swiss chard doesn’t get enough attention in the age of kale. Don’t get me wrong, kale is great, but so is Swiss chard. Its a little more tender than kale, with a slightly earthier flavor and is packed with vitamins and minerals. My favorite thing about Swiss chard is that you can cook the stem. Kale stems are pretty inedible no matter what you do them. Chard stems have the same earthy flavor of the chard leaf but the texture is closer to that of celery.
You do still have to de-stem the chard because the stem takes far longer to cook and the leafy part so there is a little more chopping involved, but I’m a big fan of using every part of the vegetable when I can. In first world countries, the majority our food waste occurs at retail and consumer levels- at the grocery store/restaurants or in our homes- So I think its important to utilize everything that we can from what we purchase and reduce our waste. It helps us get the most out of our purchases and it helps the earth.
This recipe is really simple and straightforward and can be either a dinner for 2 or a side dish for 4. When I eat this for dinner on its own, I like to have it with a hunk of crusty baguette to soak up the saucy goodness that falls to the bottom of the dish. When I have this as a side, my favorite thing to pair it with is a grilled Italian Sausage by one of two brands: Field Roast or Beyond Meat. They are both incredible.
A couple of recipe notes: I use cannellini beans here but any white bean will do. I prefer cannellini beans because they are nice and big so they make this dish feel really hearty.
Also, this recipe calls for 1/2 tsp fennel seed, crushed. You can do that with a mortar and pestle, chop them with a knife, or crush them on your cutting board with the bottom of a flat metal measuring cup. It doesn’t need to be perfect and were certainly not looking to turn the seeds into powder. We just want the flavor to be easily extracted since this is a quick cooking dish.
Garlicky Swiss Chard with White Beans
- 1 Large bunch of Swiss Chard thoroughly washed (About 1 Pound)
- 2 Tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy butter
- 3 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Seed Crushed
- Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flake optional
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
- 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp Sun Dried Tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Cannellini Beans drained and rinsed (1- 15oz can)
- De-stem the chard. Roughly chop the leafy greens and put into a large bowl. Set aside. Chop the stems into small dice. See picture above for reference.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the Earth Balance or other non dairy butter. Add sliced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until garlic is brown.
- Add the diced chard stems, crushed fennel seed, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the chard stems are tender.
- Add the chard leaves and toss with tongs to help everything wilt, then add the lemon zest, juice and sun dried tomatoes. Once the chard has all wilted, add your cannellini beans and toss to combine.
Let me know how this recipe worked for you!