Lentils and Chard

By • December 28, 2009 • 10 Comments

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Author Notes: This is one of those fairly seasonless side dishes that I’m grateful to have in my repertoire – it’s versatile, it’s quick, and it’s dead easy. When it’s available, I love to use bright, lovely rainbow chard for the extra pop of color it adds to the dish, but you can use regular chard or even beet greens here. Adding the stems means nothing is wasted, and slicing them thin helps them cook up nice and tender. I usually serve this alongside a simply prepared piece of fish, but you could easily turn it into a meatless main dish by topping it with a fried or poached egg, or a crumble of feta or goat cheese.lastnightsdinner

Serves 2-4

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced shallot
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup dried lentils (I like Puy, Beluga, or Spanish Pardina lentils, but you can use regular green lentils as well)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • a pinch of red chile flakes
  • 1 bunch regular, red, or rainbow chard
  • a splash of Sherry vinegar
  1. Warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, thyme, and a pinch of salt and cook until softened. Add the lentils and stir to coat with oil. Cook for a minute before adding the water and wine. Cover and reduce the heat to low, then continue cooking until the lentils are tender and have absorbed all of the liquid, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Rinse the chard well to remove any grit. Fold the leaves over so that the center stem is on the outside, and making a v-shaped cut, separate the stems from the leaves. Trim the very bottoms of the stems and discard, and then slice the stems very thinly on the bias. Fold the chard leaves in half, roll them up cigar-style, and slice into ½- to 1-inch ribbons.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a sauté pan and warm over medium heat. Add the red chile flakes and garlic and cook just until fragrant. Add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, stir to coat them with oil, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced chard leaves and another pinch of salt and toss. Cook until they’re just wilted, then remove them from the heat. Remove the thyme sprig from the cooked lentils, then combine the lentils and chard in a serving bowl and drizzle with a little sherry vinegar, stirring gently to combine.
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Tags: Chard, lentils, meatless

Comments (10) Questions (0)

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over 2 years ago Meredisu

Just made this and its excellent. Added some carrots and topped it with feta. A new favorite of mine for sure. Thank you for sharing!

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I've saved this too. I just bought Puy lentils and I know we'll be getting chard in our CSA box soon.

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

It's a staple here when chard is in season - I hope you enjoy it!

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about 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LND, when you say "Beluga" lentils in the ingredient list for this, do you mean the black belugas? This is in the queue for my next Market Day . . . but with a couple of local sausages added to turn it into a one-dish meal. Perfect autumn fare. Thanks so much!! ;o)

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about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Correct - I hope you enjoy it! Great sausages would be a perfect partner to this :)

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thanks! I usually just go with the flow with this - sometimes I have more lentils to chard, sometimes they're even, sometimes it's more chard than lentils - it all depends on what we can find at the farmers' market :) So glad you enjoyed this!

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almost 5 years ago SallyCan

This is a fine recipe, especially good served warm with goat cheese melting into the lentils. The wine helps to keep the texture of the lentils in tact, while flavoring them nicely, and the Sherry vinegar is a good, sharp contrast. I'm not sure if I got the proportion of chard to lentils correct, as I guessed since I was using garden chard, but it was still one of the best recipes I've tried lately. Thanks!

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almost 5 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Really good recipe. It's the second lentil recipe I see here with wine, I had never thought of cooking them with wine, it must be very good. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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almost 5 years ago eatboutique

I love this, Jennifer. I always make a late summer salad of wilted swiss chard and big dried beans with piles of lemon zest. Gonna try your recipe next time. :)

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thank you! Your salad sounds great :)