Swiss Chard With Pistachios And Mint Recipe

by | Apr 5, 2010
Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Chard

I realized I left many of you hanging this weekend after talking so much about chard without giving you my favorite recipe. Chard is a regular in my weekly meals because it is delicious, inexpensive and usually available year round. But this time of year, it shouldn’t be missed.

This recipe is a true crowd pleaser–I’ve won over more than a few self-proclaimed chard haters with it.

When older and larger, chard can sometimes take on a slightly bitter quality (not a problem this time of year). In this recipe I cut the bitterness with fresh mint, which brightens the dish in a subtle yet surprising way. I also add pistachio nuts to give the dish a pleasant crunch.

I love this dish with eggs or as an accompaniment to beans or lentils.

Swiss Chard With Pistachios And Mint

Makes 2-3 side dishes


  • One bunch Swiss chard, any color
  • One shallot or leek
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nut meats
  • About 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

To start, dice a small mild onion such as a shallot, leek or ciopollini. If you use a leek be sure to clean it well and remove all the trapped dirt between the leaves.

Next slice a large handful of mint leaves. Leaves such as mint and basil are easiest to cut if you chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other and rolling them lengthwise like a cigarette. From there they are easy to cut into thin strips. Set the mint aside.

Clean your chard. If the stems are very thick (which they often are) you may want to remove them from the leaves. After removing the stems, cut the chard leaves into 1 inch squares. If you want to include some stem in your dish for color and texture, cut them in half and add them to the pan a few minutes before the leaves so they soften and are easier to eat.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat until it swirls easily in the pan. Add onion, pistachio nuts and chard stems and sauté until the onion is soft and starts to brown slightly.

Add chard leaves and stir to coat in oil. Gently sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover for 1-2 minutes, allowing the chard to wilt. Uncover, stir and continue to cook until chard is dark green and the stems are tender, about 8 minutes.

Sprinkle mint over the chard and stir. Continue cooking another 1-2 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Have you ever tried chard with mint?

Recipe was originally published August 17, 2008, but has been much improved.

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15 Responses to “Swiss Chard With Pistachios And Mint Recipe”

  1. Jed Wolpaw says:

    Was going to have to wait to make this, thought I wouldn’t have the time, but couldn’t resist. Went with the red chard from Andronico’s, I think it is officially from Brazil…or maybe Utah…but anyway, it was delicious, scrumptious even. Which means there’s really only one question left: Is it pronounced chard with a hard “ch” like in “cheese” or chard with a soft “ch” like in “chardonnay”?

  2. zamley says:

    Tried this recipe last night. A big improvement over my typical steamed chard! Plus I felt like a real badass with the chiffonade technique.(btw Jed, I’ve always heard chard with a hard “ch” as in “cheese”)

  3. I love swiss chard and am always looking for news ways to use it. Thanks!

  4. Rainbow chard is my favorite above all any other green. It’s sitting on the counter right now, with pine nuts, golden raisins, and shallots, going to be stuffed into boneless chicken breasts.

    Your combo will have to be the next thing I try.

  5. Matt Shook says:

    I have not tried chard & mint, but I’m really enjoying some MLB Opening Day right now! I do have some fresh chard and mint that I picked up a few days ago and I think I’ll have to try this one out…

  6. Kat says:

    I love chard, and usually try to get a few rainbow bunches at the Berkeley farmer’s markets.
    For another variation, I make a similar recipe using walnuts instead of pistachios, and I add dried cranberries towards the end (and sometimes even a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice). I also find that it’s extra yummy if you use garlic olive oil instead of regular olive oil.

  7. Jean says:

    I love fresh chard, and this recipe looks yummy. It’s so funny that I just found you in a roundabout way and your post was about chard, which I will be posting about in a few days!

  8. Sweet, I’ll definitely be making this soon–I’m so glad summer’s on its way. I’ve been eating a really good korean spinach salad every morning (sigumchi namul) substituting flaxseed oil for 2/3 of the sesame and it’s a pretty amazing way to start the morning.

  9. Lea R. says:

    Interesting…at lunch today, our 5.5-year-old sauteed her first batch of kale with garlic, butter, olive oil, sea salt, and lots of supervision. 🙂 A minute after she sat down with a big bowl of it, she announced she had added pistachios from a bag of nutmeats in the pantry. Totally her idea.

    That got us talking about pistachios, lemon, garlic, and kale tossed with either rice or pasta and a lot of shaved hard cheese. Maybe we’ll try some chard instead…or both.

  10. JM says:

    I tried this recipe last night (using walnuts because I didn’t have pistachios) and…WOW. We used to have chard growing in out backyard, and one time my mom cooked it (read: boiled to death)…bless her heart…but it turned me off chard for the next 10 years. This is delicious. Even my dad ate it, after telling me he didn’t like chard, lol. Thanks!

  11. k says:

    this was amazing!! we had it tonight and it was a pretty quick prep, and it tasted great. i could hardly eat my salmon, i was enjoying this so much. my husband even ate his (smaller) portion— he hates greens!! thanks so much!

  12. It’s a kind of very different recipe. I like the way you have put all the ingredients together. I’ll be making it over the weekend.

    I’ll be adding more nuts particularly walnuts and cashew nuts are my weak points. Hope to get a happy treat 🙂

    n thanks Daren I love your recipes and your blogging style 🙂

  13. this combo was exactly what I was looking for this evening, thank you. I sauteed in bacon fat & it was perfect.

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