whole food ~ well made

Swiss chard saute in a pan

A Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard with Sweet Onions and Carrots for Your CSA Bounty

Right about now, are you swamped with cooking greens from your CSA?

It exciting how many more people know about this model, called community supported agriculture. {CSA is so much friendlier a term, isn’t it?} This gives farmers a much-needed boost of guaranteed cash and customers.

The only trouble is that new CSA subscribers are often stumped by what to cook out of their weekly produce box. Sometimes, it’s a question of an unfamiliar ingredient, like kohlrabi, fennel or garlic scapes.

Other times, it’s getting overwhelmed by the big producers like cooking greens–kale, spinach, mustard greens, purslane, turnip greens, collards and my personal favorite, Swiss chard.

Swiss Chard is Two Vegetables in One

Swiss chard can be a bit tricky because the stalks and the leaves have different textures and cooking demands.

And since farmers are enamored of beautiful rainbow chard like this, CSA subscribers tend to get a generous share of it.

A bunch of fresh rainbow chard

Whenever I have a bounty of chard and other cooking greens to use up quickly, this recipe is what I make. It’s more of a technique than a recipe, really, one that I learned from the fabulous but out-of-print Tassajara Cooking.

This simple sauteed chard recipe calls for chopping and cooking the stems separately from the greens. The stems become like a fourth vegetable along with the sweet onions and carrots.

I serve it as a vegetarian main dish with za’atar and yogurt or a side dish for grilled salmon or steak. Any leftovers turn into the most tasty frittata.

More Simple Recipes For CSA

This summer I’ve been helping my friend Beth at Backyard Gardens with the recipes for her CSA newsletter and blog so that her customers get recipe ideas along with terrific local produce. There are more great resources than ever for CSA subscribers including the new crop of CSA-specific cookbooks.

But sometimes you just need a new or quick idea for using beet greens, cauliflower or turnips.

So, here are my top 3 go-to sites for simple recipes, and they all happen to be from the Pacific Northwest:

  • Cook with What You Have: Portlander Katherine Deumling offers a recipe subscription service as well as free recipes for every kind of vegetable under the sun.
  • Bounty from the Box: Seattle CSA cookbook author Mi Ae Lipe offers a recipe database that you can search by crop.
  • Digging Up the Dirt: With a new cookbook by the same name, farmer Andrea Bemis creates recipes that highlight a single seasonal vegetable.

I hope your summer is filled with fresh-from-the-farm foods enjoyed in the great outdoors. Love your farmer!


and become a forager

Sauteed Chard with Sweet Onions and Carrots

This recipe is a study in simplicity. It is what I cook when the greens pile up and I don't know what else to make. The onions and carrots lend both sweetness and crunch. Be sure to taste and season the chard well for the best flavor. You can embellish this recipe any way you like--with anything from feta cheese to sliced almonds to tofu--for a main dish or side dish. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Lynne Curry


  • 1 bunch Swiss chard or any other cooking greens
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Walla Walla sweet or scallions
  • 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • fine sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Trim the chard stems from the leaves. Chop the leaves and set them aside. Slice the stems.

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems and cook until they sizzle, stirring now and then for about 2 minutes. Add the onion and carrots and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir as needed so they cook without browning.

  3. Mound the greens on top and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the garlic. Stir and cook until the greens soften, about 2 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and adjust to suit your taste.


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