Amanda & Merrill

Chard Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

November 12, 2013

Merrill's baby Clara has quite the appetite -- and it's all Merrill can do to keep up. Armed with her greenmarket bag, a wooden spoon and a minimal amount of fuss, she steps into the fray.

Today: Merrill makes chard salad, inspired by date night.

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For some reason, I always forget about what a great idea it is to add toasted breadcrumbs to a salad. Until someone reminds me.

Since Clara was born nearly two years ago, my husband and I do our best to schedule a date night every couple of weeks -- although we're not as disciplined about it as we should be. A few weeks ago we had dinner at the bar at one of our local haunts, called Stone Park Cafe, and when the bartender launched into a description of a special salad they were featuring that evening, I knew I had to try it: it was a shredded chard salad with garlic breadcrumbs, lemon dressing and Parmesan.

Now we've all probably had something like this salad before, but most likely it was made with kale, not chard. Don't get me wrong -- I love kale as much as the next Brooklynite. But it was refreshing to see that someone had decided to go a different route with chard instead. And did I mention the garlic breadcrumbs?

More: If you simply must have kale salad, try this one.

I had to fight my husband for the last few bites of that salad. It was a bright, grassy tangle of chard, tossed with coarse, fresh breadcrumbs that had been crisped with just a whisper of garlic in a generous amount of olive oil. A lemon dressing and a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese gave it brightness and depth. Knowing her fondness for salads, I had a feeling Clara might like this too.

Sure enough, when I recreated it at home the following week, there were three of us fighting for the last bite.

Chard Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

Inspired by Stone Park Cafe

Serves 4 as a starter

1 bunch Swiss chard
1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cups grated Parmesan

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    Moe Rubenzahl
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


jane.colton3 November 21, 2013
Delicious- thanks for the recipe!

Kenzi W. November 13, 2013
I am obsessed with this salad.
Moe R. November 12, 2013
Speaking of secret, magic salad ingredients: Shelled pistachios (which I get at Costco) make any salad 28% better.
Merrill S. November 12, 2013
Thanks for the tip -- and the precise percentage!