Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts

Serves: 4-6


3 tablespoons currants, raisins, or golden raisins

2 pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and washed in several changes of water, stems diced and set aside

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

3 tablespoons pine nuts

salt and freshly ground pepper


Place the raisins or currants in a bowl and pour on hot water to cover. Soak 10 minutes and drain.

Fill a bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and add the chard. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to the bowl of ice water and let sit for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop coarsely.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the chard stems and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until they begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute or just until the garlic begins to smell fragrant. Add the chopped greens and raisins or currants and toss together until they are well coated with oil and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

Advance preparation: You can make this several hours before serving. Reheat gently on top of the stove if you want to serve it hot. The blanched greens will keep in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.

Popular vegetable substitutions include: Rainbow Chard

Recipe by Martha Rose Shulman. Photo by Andrew Scrivani.

This is a popular dish throughout the Mediterranean, particularly in Catalonia, Provence, and along the Italian Riviera. It is often made with spinach, but I prefer to use Swiss chard, because the chard stands up to the cooking but still has a delicate flavor.