Inspired by a salad my husband and I shared at one of our favorite local restaurants, Stone Park Cafe, this is a bright, grassy tangle of chard, tossed with coarse, fresh breadcrumbs 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. —Merrill Stubbs
4 as a starter
extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups
clove garlic, minced
In This Recipe
Wash and dry the chard and remove the stems from the leaves. Set aside. Zest and juice the lemon.
Combine the lemon juice (you should have about 2 1/2 tablespoons), 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest and a few generous pinches of salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Set aside.
Warm the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they are crisp and golden brown (about 5 minutes). Be careful not to burn them! Stir in the garlic and let them toast for another minute, then remove from the heat.
Separate the chard leaves from their stems. Finely chop the stems. Stack a few of the leaves on top of each other, roll them like a cigar and cut the cigar into thin (1/8-inch) ribbons. Repeat until all the leaves are shredded. Put the chard stems and leaves into a large bowl and toss gently with the Parmesan and about 2/3 of the lemon dressing. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Toss in the toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.