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Rainbow Chard with Lemon, Fennel, and Parmigiano

Christopher Hirsheimer; food styling by Melissa Hamilton

Servings: eight.

Don’t throw those chard stems away—cooking them with the chard leaves gives this recipe lots of extra flavor and texture.


  • 4 large bunches rainbow or Swiss chard (about 3-1/2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb, plus 1/2 cup chopped fronds (fronds optional)
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano (shave with a vegetable peeler)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 150
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 11
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 530
  • Carbohydrates (g): 13
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 5


  • Cut the chard stalks off just below each leaf and thinly slice the stalks. Chop the chard leaves into large pieces. Keep the stalks and leaves separate.

    Bring a large, wide pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sliced fennel and chard stalks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander. (The chard can be cooked to this point up to 3 hours ahead.) Rinse and dry the pot.

    Finely grate the zest from the lemons and set aside. Cut the top and bottom ends off the lemons, then stand each on a cut end and slice off the peel to expose the flesh. (Try to remove all of the bitter white pith.) Cut the lemon segments from the membranes, letting them drop into a small bowl.

    Heat the oil and garlic in the pot over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the fennel fronds (if using) and the lemon segments and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the chard leaves and stems and fennel and cook, stirring, until heated through. Stir in the lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with the Parmigiano.


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Reviews (5 reviews)

  • ipaqgps | 11/30/2016

    Loved this! Read the recipe, had all of the ingredients so what else could I do?! Cut the recipe in half for me and the boil time down. It was quick and will be on the menu again. Thanks!

  • TravlJini | 07/12/2014

    Loved this recipe. I thought the amount of chard was a bit too much, I only had one on hand when I found this recipe so downsized the rest of the ingredients -- ez to do.As for "fussy prep" I didn't think so, esp. downsizing the ingredients. I timed myself, 15 minutes to slice and dice everything.So tasty! A do over again and again!

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