Smoky Flavors

October 1, 2009


There is the old saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  What do you do when life gives you chard?  And carrots?

For the last three weeks straight, I have received chard and carrots in my CSA box.  Actually, the carrots I’m not that worried about.  Farm fresh and stored in the crisper drawer, they will last a month or more.  Plus there is always vegetable stock to make, this soup, and this dressing.  But the chard?  I loved this recipe but didn’t want to make it again and again.  In order to use up the two huge bunches I had taking up lots of space in my refrigerator, I decided to cook it down and serve it over grilled bread.

The good thing about chard is that, if you want to use a lot of it, it melts into almost nothing.  The two of us were able to eat it the two giant bunches without too much trouble.  I sautéed a bit of garlic, added as many leaves as I could put into my large skillet, and then added more as they wilted.  I also added about a teaspoon of smoked paprika and some sliced sun-dried tomatoes.  I let the chard cook for a good long while, until it was really soft.  I was going to poach the eggs directly in nests of chard, but my pan was too large and I opted to make them in my egg poacher instead.  Fried eggs would also be delicious here.

Verdict?  A great way to use a lot of chard.  And a very quick dinner.  Randy called it “bitter” but would not come right out and say that he didn’t like it, although I told him he was allowed to.  I loved the egg and the bread (and the roasted potatoes I served along with it), but I would find another green for next time.  Broccoli rabe perhaps or kale.  Or maybe the mustard greens I was just informed are coming in this week’s box.  Along with some carrots.  I’m not kidding.

One Year Ago:  Dimply Plum Cake

Smoky Chard Over Grilled Bread
Dana Treat Original
Serves 2

If you find yourself with only one bunch of chard, do not despair.  You can still make a dinner out of this, you will just have slightly less chard to go over the bread and I would cut the smoked paprika down to 1/2 teaspoon.

Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large bunches chard (any type)
1 tsp. smoked paprika
6 sun-dried tomato halves, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium slices country bread, drizzled with olive oil and grilled or toasted
4 eggs, poached, fried, or hard-boiled and sliced

Cut the chard leaves off of each stem (you can also just tear it off).  Cut the leaves into approximately 2-inch strips.  Reserve the stems for another use.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.  When hot, add just enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom.  Add the garlic and stir constantly until just starting to brown.  Do not allow to burn.  Add as many chard leaves as will fit into the pan and sauté until starting to wilt.  Add more leaves and continue to cook down until wilted.  Continue this process until all the chard is in the pan.  Add the paprika, the sun-dried tomatoes, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and lower the heat.  Cook, stirring often, until the chard is very soft, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill the bread and cook the eggs to your liking.  An alternative here is to cook the chard in a smaller sauté pan that has a lid.  Make 4 wells in the cooked chard and crack an egg into each.  Cover and cook over low heat until the eggs are cooked to your liking.


  1. Looks delicious! Yum!

    Comment by ABowlOfMush — October 1, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

  2. I do this a lot with greens — braise with garlic, sometimes I add beans, serve over good bread. I love the eggs as well.

    My favorite favorite chard recipe is the Zuni Cafe Cookbook’s chard and onion panade, but it’s awfully indulgent, so it’s definitely not an every week sort of thing.

    Comment by Kate @ Savour Fare — October 1, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

  3. This sounds like a perfect early fall dinner…poached eggs, crusty bread, and sauteed dark leafy greens is a winner in my book. :)

    Comment by Amy — October 1, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  4. This looks great- I love how eggs poached in a poacher look! (I know I should prefer the rustic, “natural” look, but I just love the cartoon-y shape of those.) I might try this next week, once I can get my hands on some nice bread and eggs at the market.

    Comment by Ele — October 1, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

  5. Mmmmmmm, nice way to use up that chard Dana :)

    Comment by Jacqueline — October 1, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  6. I love chard! But i’d really been in a bind if I received the same vegetable 3 weeks in a row!

    Comment by Veggie Belly — October 1, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

  7. i think it sounds great… love that it is a ‘Dana Treat Original’. Sometimes if I add a bit of something creamy, it calms the bitterness down, like sour cream or yogurt maybe. Worth a try if you get another basket full.

    Comment by Sprouted Kitchen — October 2, 2009 @ 12:08 am

  8. I could eat eggs everday in some shape or form!

    Looks like a yummy meal to me….and how bout a carrot cake w/ all those carrots in the CSA box?

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — October 2, 2009 @ 1:26 am

  9. That’s such an interesting way to eat eggs. I like that you are using chard.

    Comment by Hélène — October 2, 2009 @ 1:34 am

  10. I am not an egg fan. Sometimes I can do egg white omelettes but not very often. Great presentation!

    Comment by Maria — October 2, 2009 @ 2:10 am

  11. I love eggs with greens, often doing something similar with kale or spinach. It’s true though, chard can be bitter, as my husband is also eager to point out to me. I like the idea of smoked paprika and sundried tomatoes to counter some of that.

    Comment by tara — October 2, 2009 @ 2:27 am

  12. I made chard tonight too – but with carrots and orzo. How do you keep your carrots fresh so long? Mine always get floppy.

    I love that you added an egg to this, I should have done that too.

    Comment by Allison Arevalo — October 2, 2009 @ 5:18 am

  13. I love wilted greens of any kind. And to pair them up with crusty bread and egg? That sound simply delicious.

    Allison above me asked about how you keep carrots fresh for so long…what I do is I peel and keep them submerged in fresh water in a snaplock container in the refrigerator. I change out the water every few days. They stay really crispy that way. I do it for celery too.

    Comment by HappyTummy — October 2, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  14. Yes, the greens can be overwhelming. I got more than my fair share of bok choy this year. Which was fine the first week and the second…but the seventh? Ugh, I never want to see bok choy again.

    This looks like a great simple meal with the eggs!

    Comment by fresh365 — October 2, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

  15. I love swiss chard. It’s the plant that keeps on growing in my garden and I always get compliments on how pretty it is – so much so that I grow it in my flower border. I also love the way it tastes – as strange as this sounds, it tastes to me the way dirt would taste if it were yummy. I know – I’m a freak.

    Comment by Kristina — October 2, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

  16. I received so many greens last fall, it got to be a challenge to think of ways to use them all. My fall CSA is starting up in a week or so, and I’m actually kind of looking forward to getting greens again, but maybe I’m just getting tired of zucchini right now!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — October 2, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

  17. Mmm perfect simple, healthy dinner. This is exactly what I’d love to have for dinner on a week night.

    Comment by maris — October 3, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

  18. Those are really cute little poached eggs! Good for you for finding creative uses for all of your produce. I love sauteeing greens with garlic though haven’t tried it with chard.

    Comment by Ashley — October 6, 2009 @ 1:36 am

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