Recipe: Champion Chard with tomatoes and green olives

Francesca

A recent recipe in The Guardian by Yotam Ottolenghi, champion of chard, with his typically thoughtful flavour accents. Adjust quantities to fit the weight of chard you have. This was published as a side dish but it wouldn’t take much to bump it up to a whole meal e.g. serve with some lightly spiced chickpeas and couscous. Or, if you’re a fish eater, a pan-fried fillet of white fish and some new potatoes or rice.

If you’re inspired by Ottolenghi, try this summer salad recipe we featured a few weeks ago: Green Bean Salad with Mustard Seeds and Tarragon

Serves 4 as a side.

Ingredients

  • 400g chard
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, skin pared off into 2 strips, then juiced to obtain 1 tbsp
  • 2-3 sprigs oregano
  • 300g ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 120g Nocellara (or other green) olives, pitted and halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1 tbsp basil leaves, roughly torn

Method

  1. Prepare the chard. Separate stalks from leaves. Trim away the base of the stalks. Cut any wider chard stalks in half lengthways (or three times, if very large). Then cut stalks into 6cm-long pieces. Cut/tear the leaves into pieces (also roughly 6cm long).
  2. Put a large frying pan on medium-high heat with a teaspoon of oil. Add the chard stalks and saute, stirring occasionally, for 4 mins. Stir in the leaves and saute for another 3 mins, until just wilted and cooked. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with a plate, leave for 3 mins to soften further.
  3. Wipe clean the chard pan, pour in 90ml oil and return to medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, onion, lemon peel and oregano and fry gently, stirring often, for 12 mins until onion is soft and golden.
  4. Add the tomatoes, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and cook for 2 mins (or 2 mins longer if the toms are not very ripe) until they begin to often. Stir in the cooked chard and olives. Turn off the heat and leave to sit for 5 mins so the flavours come together.
  5. Discard the spent oregano stalks and lemon peel and transfer the chard and tomatoes to a serving bowl. Drizzle over the lemon juice and remaining 2 tbsp of oil, finish with a scattering of basil leaves and more ground black pepper, and serve.