A simple chard pasta recipe, Orecchiette with Swiss Chard, Parmesan and fresh Lemon is light and quick to make for a weeknight dinner.
When we moved into our house last year, I had a goal, a dream, if you wish to start a vegetable garden. (PS..I'm always sharing garden stories on my Instagram), Now I was, and am new to gardening so we started small. A simple raised bed and easy to grow vegetables to learn from, such as red lead lettuce, kale and rainbow chard.
Well, my friends, my rainbow chard plant is booming! The leaves are big, the stems vibrant hot pink and yellow and we can't harvest enough of it, since it is growing so abundantly.
Aren't those colors just stunning? So alas, I have been finding ways to use these gorgeous leaves of rainbow chard in various recipes. Today, we have a simple pasta recipe with Swiss chard, bright lemon zest and of course, loads of Parmesan cheese. Orecchiette with Swiss chard will be the summer dinner staple as it's quick to prepare, savory and bright and perfect for summer dinners. Plus, there's an egg on top, so there's that.
How to use Swiss chard in recipes?
Rainbow chard and Swiss chard are quite similar besides their colorful differences. Swiss chard has tender leaves that you could use the same way you would use spinach. The stalks are pretty tender as well, and once chopped up, Swiss chard can be sauteed and added to recipes such as my mini potato and chard knishes or chopped up and left raw in a rainbow chard salad. And the leaves would be perfect in chard and garlic scape pesto as well!
Also would like to mention that Swiss chard, like other leafy greens, cooks down to almost nothing. So a large bunch of raw chard will yield half the amount, so just keep that in mind.
Can you eat the stems of Rainbow Chard?
Yes! chard stems are lovely and tender. You can eat chard stems raw or cooked, but I personally prefer them sauteed with a bit of olive oil, garlic and salt. Just chop the stems up into ½ inch pieces and add them to your recipes. The colors should keep well, making for an eye catching dish.
What Recipes can I add Swiss Chard to?
- Substitute Swiss chard leaves for grape leaves in my Grape Leaves Recipe
- Add chopped Swiss chard and chard stems to vegetarian pasta fagioli for added greens.
- Stuff chard and ricotta in a calzone or on top of breakfast pizza.
Orecchiette with Swiss Chard, Parmesan and Lemon
- 6-8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta or other small shaped pasta
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water if needed for sauce
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 large bunch of rainbow chard stems chopped and leaves roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 eggs or 1 per person
- Begin by boiling a salted pot of water and cook pasta according to directions. While pasta cooks, make the rest of the dish.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1-2 minutes until garlic begins to lightly change in color.
- Next add the chard stems and cook for another minute. Then add the chard leaves and toss to combine and cook until wilted. You may have to add the leaves in batches but it will all cook down.
- Season with salt and adjust seasoning if needed. Then add in the cooked pasta and toss with grated Parmesan and lemon zest and add a bit of pasta water if it looks too dry or an extra drizzle of olive oil.
- Put aside pasta and cook eggs. In a small nonstick skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and carefully crack the egg in the pan.
What a fun and creative way to use chard; that looks delicious! Thanks for the shout-out for my pesto with chard and garlic scapes.
You are so welcome! What a great way to make a pesto!! Such a good idea 🙂
sue | the view from great island says
I think rainbow chard is the prettiest vegetable, and this looks like a great 'brinner' recipe!
Yes! Thank you so much Sue!
Cinnamon Vogue says
Until recently I had avoided Swiss Chard simply because I never knew how to cook it. I mean boiling is the usual style which is kind of boring. This is a great idea and looks lovely. They should do this in restaurant pasta dishes. It would make any Pasta dish so much better.
After discovering Swiss Chard has very good levels of Potassium and Magnesium I have taken to it with a vengeance. In my case, I cut it very fine and stir fry it in coconut oil and then add 2 tsp of sesame oil near the end which works out very well. Takes time to cut it really fine though, but well worth it.
I made this tonight and it was really good!! I think it would also be good with cooked chicken. I pretty much followed the recipe, used elbow noodles, didn't measure much of anything (lol!) and used smoked sea salt. I enjoyed it and will make it again.