Braised Chard with Tahini and Pine Nuts

March  9, 2018
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This side dish, adapted from the Saha cookbook, is a simple yet delicious way to spruce up your daily greens. The chard is first braised, then smothered in a garlicky tahini sauce, before being topped with buttery pine nuts. I like to serve it with a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, a type of dried ground red pepper milder than red chiles, like cayenne, but with more heat than paprika. You can find it in larger supermarkets, Middle Eastern stores, or online. Feel free to substitute the chard with any seasonal green of your choice, such as spinach, kale, or collards. —Yasmin Khan

What You'll Need
  • For the braised chard
  • 3 bunches Swiss chard (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • coarsley ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch Aleppo pepper
  • 20 grams (1½ tablespoons) butter
  • 40 grams (⅓ cup) pine nuts
  • For the tahini sauce
  • 75g grams (¼ cup) tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  1. Begin by making the tahini sauce. Combine the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic and salt, and stir well. As brands of tahini vary, you may need to adjust the amount of water, adding a little more if the sauce is looking a bit thick. You are aiming for a consistency of runny honey.
  2. Wash the chard thoroughly and then separate the stalks from the leaves. Finely chop half of the stalks (you can save the rest for another dish) and roughly chop the leaves.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of light olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and place the chard stalks in it, along with the garlic, cilantro, ¼ tsp salt and 3 tbsp water. Stir well, cover, and cook for 10 minutes until the stalks are soft.
  4. Add the chard leaves, lemon juice, 2 tbsp of water, ¼ tsp salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Cover and let the chard braise for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the leaves are cooked. Then take the lid off the pan and increase the heat to high, cooking for about 5 more minutes until all of the water evaporates from the pan. Take the greens off the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. While the chard is cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and add the pine nuts. Fry until the nuts just turn golden brown, and then take the pan off the heat.
  6. To serve, spoon the chard into a shallow bowl, top with the tahini, pine nuts, and butter, and finish with a generous sprinkling of Aleppo pepper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • rob
  • Jim Logan
    Jim Logan
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    Tonia Lair
  • Gardeningbuddy
Yasmin Khan is a food and travel writer and the author of the best-selling Persian cookbook The Saffron Tales.

4 Reviews

rob August 22, 2023
Quite delicious. A nice side dish.
Jim L. November 12, 2022
At what point does the coriander go in? It's not mentioned in the directions?
Tonia L. February 7, 2021
This was delicious and I loved the toasted pine nuts in butter. The tahini sauce is delicious. I made this with a fried egg.
Gardeningbuddy March 28, 2020
A beautifully balanced main or side dish. Amazing as a side with sockeye salmon. I do need to note that I cannot review the recipe as written. I am deathly allergic to pine nuts. (They don't taste buttery to me, they feel like a mouthful of thorns... And then I can't breathe). Because there author said the nuts were buttery, I wanted to substitute pecans. Not having pecans, I used hazelnuts. Amazing!