Eating the rainbow

a little earlier this month meant eating swiss chard in multiple ways, since I was a little overzealous at the farmer’s market and it was so beautiful and vibrant that I couldn’t resist.

Swiss chard is a nutritional powerhouse — an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and fiber.  It’s also quite colorful and pretty, so it’s as pleasing to the palate as it is to see on the plate!

So what did I do with all the rainbow swiss chard bursting from my fridge?  I made  Crispy Za’atar Salmon with Sauteed Swiss Chard, Grilled Chard with Fava Bean Salad (it’s all about the stems in this particular dish!), and Swiss Chard Cakes.

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Crispy Za’atar Salmon with Sautéed Swiss Chard (recipe adapted from here).


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, preferably skin on (about 3/4-inch thick)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 teaspoons za’atar seasoning
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, stems cut into 1/2-inch slices, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tbl lemon juice, or to taste
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat, add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften and begin to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
  2. While onions are caramelizing, drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over both sides of fish fillets and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Rub each side of each fillet with 1 teaspoon za’atar.
  3. Add chard stems to the onions in the nonstick skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in chard leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice.  Cover and cook until chard leaves are wilted, 2 to 3 minutes more.  Adjust seasoning.  Divide among four plates and wipe pan.
  4. Re-heat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon oil. Once the oil is hot, add fish to skillet, skin-side down, and sear until skin is golden brown and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip fish and cook until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  5. Serve fish atop the sauteed chard and onions, crispy-skin side up.

**for a more substantial dish, you can stir in cooked israeli couscous or orzo with the chard.

Grilled Rainbow Swiss Chard with Fava Beans (recipe here)


  • 2 pounds rainbow Swiss chard stems and center ribs cut out (reserve leaves for another use)
  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods) or shelled fresh or frozen edamame (soybeans; 3/4 pound in pods)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)


  1. Halve chard stems crosswise and cook in a large pot of boiling salted water until just barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes (depends on thickness). Cool in an ice bath, reserving cooking water, then transfer to a plate.
  2. Return salted water to a boil and cook beans in boiling water 3 minutes, then drain and transfer to ice bath. Gently peel off skins (if using edamame, don’t peel).
  3. Toss chard stems with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Oil grill rack, then grill chard stems, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, about 7 minutes. Cut into 1-inch lengths.
  4. Cook garlic in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until just pale golden. Add oregano, beans, and chard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with parsley.