Make Ahead

Lemony Swiss Chard with Fried Olives, Capers and Garlic

February 10, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 2-4
Author Notes

Honestly? I posted a Swiss chard recipe on this site awhile ago for this recipe, minus the olives. It's still one of my favorite ways to have Swiss chard, so I decided to revamp the ingredients a bit and add some green olives. - ChezSuzanne —TheWimpyVegetarian

Test Kitchen Notes

I'm always looking for new ways to prepare winter greens and am excited to be adding this spunky dish to my repertoire. I tend to prefer my greens only lightly cooked, but I was quite happy to find that ChezSuzanne's method of giving them a solid boil and then sauteeing them with bright flavors yielded greens that were tender and almost silky, rather than limp. The briny accents of olive and caper are wonderful with the garlicky greens. The lemon is a very powerful flavor here—I might actually halve the quantity of lemon juice next time—but the acidity is tamed by the last minute addition of the butter. All in all this is a delicious and flavorful way to prepare Swiss chard. —fiveandspice

What You'll Need
  • 2 bunches swiss chard, I used green swiss chard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 7-12 green olives, chopped (depending on their size)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Juice from 1 large lemon
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Chop off the bottom of the stems of the swiss chard. Chop the chard in large thick strips across the width of the chard, and then chop the chard again lengthwise. You should end up with roughly 2" X 2" squares of swiss chard. When the water comes to a boil, pop the swiss chard in and boil on a low boil for about 15 minutes, or until the center stalks are tender. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan. Add the shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the green olives and capers and continue to saute for another minute. Add the garlic, parsley, and dried red pepper flakes and saute another minute. Add the butter and lemon juice. Add the drained swiss chard.
  3. Stir all components together and saute for 2-3 minutes. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Judie
  • Jan Sedaka
    Jan Sedaka
  • tessga
  • Amy Eddings
    Amy Eddings
  • Francescap

18 Reviews

Judie June 5, 2023
The flavor of this dish is great and I will definitely make it again. I agree with some comments here. I think the over boiling of the chard is unnecessary. I would boil for less time or add the chard to the shallot, garlic, etc. in the pan. I also found it to be to soupy. I would use less lemon juice.
Jan S. April 19, 2021
I return to this savory dish almost every time I see fresh chard at the organic market. The second time I made it I steamed the chard and it was perfect....that's my go-to method now. I love that you didn't skimp on the garlic. We are garlic lovers, and find we have to add a few more cloves to many recipes, but not to this one.
lynnberb July 30, 2020
As others have said, a great new way to serve Swiss chard. I decrease the butter To 1 tsp. and it was fine
tessga October 5, 2014
this twist on standard greens is fantastic, great as a side to roasted salmon!
Lauren C. January 24, 2013
I loved this dish. I made it the first time and it was delicious, however when I refridgerated the leftovers and took them out the next day, I could see a good amount of solidified butter in the dish. I tried it again without the butter, and used 12 olives and 2 T capers and absolutely loved it. A slightly healthier version, full of interesting flavors and not overly heavy. Much better than my boring steamed or sautéed swiss chard.
HeatherM April 19, 2012
I really enjoyed this - skipped the olives since I didn't have them on hand and basically doubled the capers. Lovely unexpected flavor combo with chard!
[email protected] April 17, 2012
I don't understand why the long boil is needed? I saute chard - after removing the heavy stems - for about 5 - 10 minutes with the lid on to break it down a bit; that seems enough for me.
Matthew C. March 19, 2018
I just saw this recipe and wondered the same thing. Boiling the chard for 15 minutes would destroy the texture and most likely any nutrient value.
Could quite easily get a much better result boiling for 5 minutes and increasing the amount of time you sautee the chard.
Amy E. January 31, 2012
Okay, so I made this, and I found the umami taste to be overwhelming, especially the fried olives AND capers. I think I'll try this again, subbing some anchovies for the olives and capers. I like the lemon and butter. I think it's the capers and olives, and not the lemon, that's making my mouth pucker when I take a bite. Good start....time to tweak.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 31, 2012
We all taste things a little different - so thanks so much for your feedback. Anchovies should be a great marriage here with the lemon, butter and chard. Just saute the anchovies with the butter first so that it can melt right into it. I might just try that myself - thanks for the idea, Amy!
Amy E. January 29, 2012
Looking forward to trying this. Especially since it doesn't call for all that prep de-stemming the chard leaves.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 29, 2012
Hope you like it! I make it regularly and never tire of it, nor how easy it is to make :-)
Francescap October 26, 2011
I made this last week and wanted to let you know it was delicious. I had a friend visiting for the weekend, and she couldn't wait to have the leftovers for lunch the next day. I did make a few alterations to the recipe--I skipped the boiling of the chard, and just added it to the shallot, olive etc... mixture and let it cook a bit. I also wanted to keep the calories down, so I didn't add the 2 tbs of butter at the end. Thank you so much for posting this. I bought more chard at my farmers market and I'm planning on making it again!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 28, 2011
Thanks so much for the feedback - I'm so glad you liked it. And I really like your twists! I've got some chard in the frig right now waiting to be used for this - I think I'll try it without the pre-boil like you did!
AntoniaJames February 17, 2011
I love this recipe. The chard has been so beautiful lately, I've been hunting for new ways to prepare it. This looks just perfect. I'm looking forward to making this soon. ;o)
TheWimpyVegetarian February 18, 2011
Hey thanks AJ!! This is one of the dishes I'm doing for a Winter Greens Class I'm teaching in a few weeks at College of Marin and I'm seeing now that it made it into EP nominations. Hope you try it - I made it again last night - all for me - and put a poached egg on top for a late dinner around 10pm. I made MrsLarkins fabulous chewy chocolate chip cookies and ate so many of them I wasn't hungry for dinner until just before going to bed :-)
hardlikearmour February 11, 2011
Love chard! The green olives are a great note to add - salty and kinda meaty, but still pretty healthy.
TheWimpyVegetarian February 18, 2011
Hey HLA, just seeing this now for some reason! I love chard too!! Hope you try it. It's also really easy to make.