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My chard runneth over: what to do with the bounty


(C) The Part Time Chef

If you have grown swiss chard this year, it is likely that yours looks a bit like mine (check out the picture to the right...)  To be blunt, you've got so much that you don't know how you'll ever eat it all before the first freeze, despite the fact that it's not yet fall. 

While there are many ways to enjoy chard, here is a favorite at our house.  (If you don't have any chard in your garden, Marsh often has nice red or rainbow chard, and it is starting to be available again at farmers markets around the area.)

Pasta with bacon swiss chard

1 lb. short pasta
1/2 lb. bacon, diced
1 large bunch of swiss chard, stems cut out and chopped, leaves sliced into ribbons
2 medium onions, sliced
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. summer savory (thyme is a good substitute), finely chopped
1 1/2 c. grated parmesan
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
olive oil

Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat with a small glug of olive oil in the pan.  Add the bacon and cook unitl crisp.  Remove bacon from pan. 

Leaving oil and bacon drippings in the pan, add the onions and chard stems, stir to coat, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover tightly, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occationally,  About half way through, add the cherry tomatoes, stir to combine, and cover tightly again.  Cook until completely soft and golden.  For standard yellow onions, this takes 20-25 minutes, but it will depend upon the sugar content of the onion you use.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted, boiling water.   Cook for recommended time minus one minute, then drain, reserving 1 1/2 c. cooking liquid.

Pile chard leaves on into the pan with the onions, stems, and tomatoes.  Pour reserved liquid over greens, replace lid, and allow to steam for a few minutes.  When greens start to wilt, stir well to combine, and stir in pasta.  Allow to continue cooking uncovered for a few minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is fully cooked.

Stir in bacon, savory, and parmesan, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top with additional parmesan if desired.


For more info: contact Keri, the Part Time Chef, at