This Swiss Chard Salad isn’t just a sucker-punch of vitamins and minerals, it’s outrageously delicious! Crunchy, toasted, homemade breadcrumbs and sharp Pecorino make a wonderful contrast with deep and earthy Swiss Chard.
I’ve always loved Swiss chard. Like probably an unnatural and excessive kind of love. I have many warm memories of picking fresh chard out of the garden and asking my dad to make it for me. I would eat a big bowl of sautéed Swiss chard topped with copious melted cheddar cheese; it was Heaven to me.
Nostalgia aside, dark-leafy greens are crammed to the brim with all things good. They’re an excellent source of fiber, folate, and carotenoids. Swiss chard also contains iron, calcium, and vitamins C and K.
GIVE SWISS CHARD THE KALE TREATMENT
We’ve grown accustomed to massaging a little lemon juice and salt into kale to help break down the tough fibers in dark, leafy greens. Swiss chard will benefit from the same treatment! Massaging the Swiss chard will make the leaves more tender, flavorful, and also easier to digest.
SWISS CHARD MASSAGING DETS.
Add the juice of ½ lemon and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to the washed and prepped chard; massage with clean hands for a few minutes. Let the greens sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
HOW TO MAKE EASY, TOASTED BREADCRUMBS
Tear up stale bread and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until crumbs are mostly finely ground. I like to leave some larger pieces for varying texture.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and any other seasonings; cook, stirring frequently, until crunchy and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest into the breadcrumbs; mix to incorporate.
Store toasted breadcrumbs in an airtight container in your pantry for 2 weeks.
DO I NEED TO USE DATE SYRUP? CAN I USE HONEY OR MAPLE SYRUP?
Date syrup is a main staple in my house and my go-to for a vegan sweetener (honey isn’t vegan). Since this recipe isn’t vegan (hello Pecorino), feel free to use honey or maple syrup.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE ANYTHING ELSE FOR THE SWISS CHARD?
Kale is the optimal substitution for Swiss chard! Be sure to give it the full massage and sitting treatment though. Instructions are detailed above or in the recipe card.
HOW MANY PORTIONS DOES THIS SALAD REALLY MAKE?
This Swiss Chard Salad makes 2 adult-sized main portions and 4-6 as a side, depending on what else you’re serving. Sometimes I add a protein like seared scallops or shrimp for a heartier meal.
MORE SALAD RECIPES FOR YOUR REPERTOIRE
Swiss Chard Salad
- 1 large bowl something that will fit all the chard
- 1 paring knife to remove stems from the chard
- 1 medium bowl for dressing
- 1 whisk
- 1 large skillet for breadcrumbs
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 food processor for breadcrumbs
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- 1 grater for the cheese
- 1 bunch Swiss chard about 12 oz; see notes
- ⅓ cup Pecorino finely grated; may sub parmigiano reggiano
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 1 tbsp date syrup sub maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp shallots finely diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- kosher salt to taste
- stale bread ideally enough to make 1 cup
- extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp per 1 cup
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
Make The Breadcrumbs:
- Ratio: 2 tablespoons of olive oil per 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Pinch of salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want to add.Tear up stale bread and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until crumbs are mostly finely ground. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and any other seasonings; cook, stirring frequently, until crunchy and golden brown, about 5 minutes.Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest into the breadcrumbs; mix to incorporate. Taste, season as necessary. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
Prep The Swiss Chard:
- Wash and dry the chard. Remove stems from the leaves by sliding a paring knife down each side of the stem, tearing at the top to separate. Stack a few of the leaves on top of each other, roll them like a cigar and slice into ½" ribbons; repeat until all the leaves are shredded. Transfer chard into a large salad bowl.
- Squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon over the chard and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt. Using clean hands, massage lemon juice and salt into the chard leaves. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the leaves to soften.
Make The Dressing:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the olive oil. Slowly pour in the olive oil, while whisking vigorously, until emulsified.
Make The Salad:
- Add 2 tablespoons of dressing to the chard; toss to combine. Add additional dressing 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed until you're satisfied. Less is more!Top with fresh breadcrumbs and pecorino before serving.
- Store remaining dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Keep in mind the garlic and shallot will intensify the longer it sits in the fridge.
- Store remaining breadcrumbs in an airtight container in the pantry for 2 weeks.
- Kale is also a great option for this recipe! This recipe gives Swiss chard the kale treatment (being massaged with lemon juice and salt to soften), so it makes for an easy-breezy substitution.
- Make this recipe vegan by simply omitting the Pecorino or subbing with a non-dairy alternative.
- This salad serves 2 adults as a main and 4-6 as a side, depending on what else you’re serving. Sometimes I add a protein like seared scallops or shrimp for a heartier meal.