Ahoy! “˜Tis time for chARRRRd!

Are pirates still a thing? I remember when pirates were a big thing, a HUGE thing, a thing that had its own slang as an acceptable Facebook default language. Anyway, chard may not be particularly nautical, and minus the salt, this recipe isn’t either, but the hard “ar!!” sound in the middle of the word “chard” just takes my land-lubber self onto an exciting, briny journey.

The sense of wonder that just saying the word “chard” brings isn’t the only reason I love it so much – as a leafy green, it’s got ungodly amounts of Vitamin K, C, and A, and it holds its own with other vitamins and minerals, like iron and potassium. And, as a spoiled Californian, chard is readily available and fairly cheap.

As a side note: I prefer to write about foods that are affordable and easy to find, but as I found out on my last trip home, living in California’s fruit basket (double side note: doesn’t that sound like a sexy euphemism to you? No? Just me? OK, then) has totally skewed my idea of available and affordable. I strongly encourage comments that provide available, affordable alternatives to the foods I describe.

Right-o! So back to the leafy green – it’s amazing how easy this thing is to cook. Apart from the constant vigilance required so that the leaves don’t wilt too much, a couple of additions, you can do most anything, and four minutes later, there’s delicious chard. Here’s one of my favorites:

2 cloves of garlic, minced or smashed

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 bunch of chard,  chopped into nice-sized pieces

Salt and pepper and dash of lemon juice to taste

In a pan on low to medium-low heat, add olive oil and garlic. Let them simmer and get all tasty, but again, be careful not to let the garlic burn. Too often I wander out of the kitchen only to return to sad, charred (ha!) garlic. After a few minutes, throw in the chard, some salt and pepper, and a dash of lemon juice. Stir it all up, turn the heat up to medium, and cover the pan with a lid. Four minutes later, there’s some delicious chard, just waiting to be paired with basically anything.

For those of you who want a little butter or some lard, substitute the olive oil for butter or bacon. I hear that is pretty, pretty, pretty”¦ pretty good.

7 replies on “Ahoy! “˜Tis time for chARRRRd!”

This is a delicious go-to recipe for any leafy green saute: fat + garlic, lightly wilt, then add a splash of acid.  Balsamic adds a nice bite instead of the lemon, or a bit of cider vinegar with the apples mentioned by MarMar.  Cost substitutions based on season or locale could include turnip or beet greens, kale (Italian/dinosaur works best), dandelion for you foragers, etc.

Bacon is a common fat for greens – especially collards – but it doesn’t work for vegetarians, so I’m gonna have to sad-face veruna’s blatant regionalism.

Also, chard is ridiculously easy to grow, and you can get multiple crops in a single growing season.  And it grows in spring and fall.  And you can grow it in a (deep) window box.  But deer love it, so be aware.


This is totally how I make my kale chips (for lack of a better word). It might be my favorite way to cook any leafy green. Well, except collard greens, those must have lots and lots of bacon and bacon grease in them; otherwise they aren’t real collard greens. /Southern

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