Swiss Chard and Chickpeas

Swiss Chard and Chickpeas
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Swiss chard and chickpeas
A fast, one skillet, meal!

Fast! Easy! And it has to use a lot of greens! That’s what we wanted this past Wednesday. A fast, easy dish that would use at least one bunch of the greens we picked up on Tuesday. So, we searched high and low for such a recipe. We thought we had one, but it seemed as if it wouldn’t be fast enough, so we dropped it (we might still use it later); then we saw a recipe for Swiss Chard and Chickpeas.

This recipe comes from Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe, by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. We don’t actually remember much about this book, as we looked at it over a year ago, but we do know this: everyone should have a good dish to eat during holidays, so we thought we’d check out this one, ordinary day notwithstanding.

We did change it to match what we have in the house: dried thyme instead of fresh, canned tomatoes instead of fresh — actually preferred, since fresh tomatoes this time of year are awful, and we omitted the red wine.

Swiss Chard and Chickpeas

Yield: 2-4 servings

Swiss Chard and Chickpeas


  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil or neutral vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 tsp red wine vinegar

Abbreviated Instructions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fry, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, tomatoes, and thyme, and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has cooked off, 5 minutes.

Add chard and cook, stirring often, until chard is wilted and stems are partially cooked, 7 minutes.

Add chickpeas and cook long enough to heat through, 3-4 minutes.

Add vinegar, taste, then season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Serve with crusty bread.

Ingredient discussion:

Would we have preferred to use home-cooked chickpeas? Of course! But, sometimes, you do what you do with what you have. Now, the tomatoes are different: when tomatoes are in season, chard isn’t, so this really isn’t a seasonal dish. Fortunately, canned tomatoes are good enough.

Procedure in detail:

cooking onions
This dish seems to have a lot of onions, but it works well with the tomatoes and chickpeas.

Cook onions. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper to start the flavoring, and fry until translucent, about 5 minutes. Naturally, give the onions a stir from time to time to keep them from sticking and burning.

adding tomatoes and thyme
If you have fresh thyme — lucky you — use about twice as much.

Cook tomatoes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, and thyme. Continue cooking and stirring off and on until the tomatoes are quite hot, the sauce is bubbling away, and much of the excess liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes or so.

adding chard
All that chard is packed with deliciousness and nutritiousness. Yay!

Cook chard. Add the chopped chard, stir to coat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is wilted and the stem pieces are partially cooked — a little crunch is perfect.

adding chickpeas
We think rinsing the chickpeas removes some of that “canned” flavor.

Add chickpeas. Stir in the chickpeas and heat through, stirring to help cook off the liquid and prevent sticking.

A bit of salt and pepper, and you’re done with a hearty meal, or perhaps a side.

Season. Add the vinegar — it helps bring out flavors — stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper until you’re happy. Serve in bowls with a slice or two of crusty bread.

This turned out better than we expected. We thought that with  canned chickpeas in the mix, the dish might have a slightly canned taste. But, no, it was nice and bright-flavored, tasty, and quite filling. It was also nice to have a dish that could be made up in under 30 minutes. That said, it’s not an exciting dish, but it’s simple, hearty fare, which can be just the thing. Four stars.

Worth the trouble?

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