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Creamed Swiss Chard with Saffron

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

This side dish is an elegant riff on classic creamed spinach. The delicate saffron flavor pairs nicely with fish, but these greens are also delicious with steak.


  • 2-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lb. Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated, stems finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 140
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 30
  • Sodium (mg): 380
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 3


  • Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a heavy-duty 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems and shallot and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves by the handful, stirring until wilted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a colander set over a bowl.
  • Put the pot over medium heat and add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. butter. When melted, add the flour, stirring until it becomes slightly golden, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium low and crumble in the saffron, then slowly whisk in the half-and-half and simmer until thickened.
  • Add the chard and cook until heated through. If too thick, thin with a little of the chard liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • ndchef | 11/15/2015

    The taste of this turned out to be delicious, but there are flaws in the technique. The chard needs to be sliced, not put in as whole leaves. Even when soft they are too big a mouthful. At least I followed my instincts and training as I salted each layer of chard as I put it in. It would have been difficult to get the seasoning right at the very end. I also had to cook it a lot longer to get the leaves tender, solved with sliced leaves. Definitely add the liquid to the sauce, as it is so flavorful. This is a great way to make chard, and I make it frequently.

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