Saute-Steamed Swiss Chard

Photo: Lisa Cohen
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

Greens and garlic make a great pair, especially when cooked in a little oil. This versatile master recipe works for any type of tender green.


  • 1 ½ pounds Swiss chard, tough stem ends discarded, washed well, shaken partially dry

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. With a chef's knife or your hands, separate leaves from stems. Cut stems crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside. Stack leaves, roll them, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons. Set aside, keeping separate from stems.

  2. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in chard stems; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until stems have softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add damp chard leaves and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are completely wilted and tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately on a platter or in a bowl, with lemon wedges on the side.

Cook's Notes

Cooking time will vary according to how young and small the greens are, so taste as you cook and use your judgment. Try red, green, or rainbow chard or substitutes like beet greens, bok choy, mizuna (a variety of Japanese mustard green with sawtooth leaves), and spinach.

Related Articles