Swiss Chard Salad

frugality, thrifty, living, life, salad, healthy meals

One of the most exciting things about being a regular food blogger is that it has the potential to open up a whole world of ingredients that you never before knew existed. Of course, the word ‘chard’ has always been a member of our vernacular, but it’s never been clear to me quite how many varieties of it there are. Happily, such variety ensures that gastronomic inspiration is unlikely ever to go wanting, especially since one can always fall back on one’s ability to invent, adapt and experiment. One has only to wander into one’s local butcher or green grocer to fully appreciate the diversity of even the most local of produce. For instance, this morning I discovered a green grocer I had never before visited and before I’d even had time to take stock of my delicious surroundings several new recipes had forcibly entered my grey matter. However, it should go down on record that they were extremely welcome and particularly frugal guests.

Chard salad seems to be a dish only rarely attempted, which is a real shame because it possesses an exceptionally delightful body and flavour. Indeed, its texture has an incredibly satisfactory bite and comes across as exceedingly hearty – a trait which many salads lack. Please do not even attempt to bring a hunk of bread or even cheese near this salad; I wasn’t joking about its bite.

frugal, living, life, healthy meals, fresh chard

frugality, living, life, healthy meals, salad, chard, chilli

Though chard is an ingredient usually used in Mediterranean cuisine, it is readily available in Britain even in November. Indeed, I had no trouble finding locally produced chard in the aforementioned green grocer and a different variety will soon be making its way here very soon! I think you’d be surprised about what is available locally in your area, wherever you live – one simply has to look in the right places. For instance, city farms are a more frequent occurrence than you may be aware of – there are two in Bristol! Get out there and enjoy what your own soil has to offer and do it frugally!

Swiss Chard Salad

Serves 3-4


• Large bunch of Swiss chard

• ½ a small red onion

• 1 red chilli, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp cider vinegar

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• A little salt and pepper


1. Slice your Swiss chard into ribbons roughly 1cm thick. Mix everything else separately and then bring together in a large mixing bowl. It’s as simple as that, but make sure the dressing covers every single strand!

frugal living, thrifty, healthy meals, salad, chilli, spicy

frugal living, thrifty, healthy meals, salad, swiss chard

Cost: This is one delicious salad and chard is available at a very reasonable price. The entire bowl full of salad which is easily enough for four should set one back no more than £1.50 – an absolute steal!

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111 comments on “Swiss Chard Salad

  1. All About Midcoast Maine
    November 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Last year our beet seeds were mis-labeled and we ended up with 2 large beds of swiss chard…(and no beets!) I wish I had this recipe then but will certainly add it to my collection now!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Well, it’s here if any further mishaps occur!

  2. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    November 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Lovely to see the chard used raw in a salad.

  3. Big Hungry Gnomes
    November 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I always associate chard with people who own allotments as it seems to grow pretty much anywhere ridiculously easily, and those lucky plot holders seem to constantly have an abundance of chard. Your recipe a wonderful showcase for this often overlooked ingredient

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Yes, it grows VERY easily! IT is overlooked, don’t know why… guess that’s why it’s called overlooked 😀

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    November 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I really like this and that it’s a fresh take on a classic pairing, greens and vinegar. I’ve never cooked with swiss chard, usually do turnip greens or kale. I’ll have to give this a go.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks, Greg! Please do, it work very well 🙂

      • Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
        November 28, 2012 at 12:39 am

        We don’t have swiss chard, but Katherine just made a version of this with kale. She wasn’t sure if it’d work with kale so she chopped it roughly. We’re going to use your method next. Anyway, it’s really good!

  5. Healthy Way of Life
    November 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Smiley's Healthy Way of Life.

  6. annashortcakes
    November 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    You are absolutely right, Frugal! You have posted so many recipes that use ingredients or techniques or flavor combinations that I have never heard of. I love being exposed to all those new things through the blogging world.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad I’ve helped to expand your culinary horizons… I help expand my own 😀

  7. narf77
    November 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Hmmmm not to sure about eating it raw in salads…I know it is ridiculously easy to grow and it will grow on a slab of concrete in the baking Australia sun but I have only ever eaten it cooked. I love it encased in buttery pastry cooked with onions, cubed potato, diced and fried in olive oil with capsicum, lots and LOTS of garlic, chopped mushrooms and some cheesy form of protein (nowdays it’s veganescent for me…) and baked till it is crunchy and delicious preferably in a pasty format. Now THAT is the way to enjoy chard 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Well, it work very well :D. Most vegetables and leaves can be eaten raw if they’re prepared correctly!

      • narf77
        November 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm

        I think that silverbeet would have to be drowned in dressing to get me to eat it raw…that might have something to do with an earlier vegetable gardening experience where the only thing that actually grew was silverbeet…a 10 foot square of solid silverbeet and I single handedly had to eat it all…and it kept growing! I guess I may have overdosed on it…

        • frugalfeeding
          November 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm

          Haha! Perhaps if you very thinly sliced it and drizzled it with olive oil?

          • narf77
            November 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm

            Perhaps if I drink a bottle of good scotch and chase it with a glass of olive oil with a few strands of the old green stuff I might just make it without twitching TOO much…

          • frugalfeeding
            November 25, 2012 at 11:23 pm

            Haha – I think you’d be twitching but perhaps for more fatal reasons…

          • narf77
            November 25, 2012 at 11:30 pm

            I AM an Aussie remember… we are well known for our drinking abilities as a race in general…remember the Monty Python Philosophers song? 😉

          • frugalfeeding
            November 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm

            Haha, indeed! I do 😀 – I need to watch myself some more Monty Python!

          • narf77
            November 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm

            I need to drink myself some more scotch! The problems with being a penniless student hippy are that scotch is NOT frugal (unless you get your welding mate to weld you a still and start making your own…hmmmm……)

          • frugalfeeding
            November 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm

            Haha – it is not… I prefer Irish whiskey myself, but I’d rather not indulge at all… cider is my tipple…

          • narf77
            November 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

            and cider is MUCH easier to make…no still or welder mate required! The only problem is stopping it going to the dark side and becoming vinegar…

          • frugalfeeding
            November 25, 2012 at 11:40 pm

            True… I have neither of those things. I think perhaps I’ll give cider a go when I actually have some space!

          • narf77
            November 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm

            Very easy to make but if you make the natural kind, be prepared for gallons of apple cider vinegar 🙁

          • frugalfeeding
            November 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm

            Haha, well that could still come in useful 😀

  8. jeksca
    November 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I have never tried chard before. This looks delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Thanks Jessica, get some – it’s very frugal!

  9. mmmarzipan
    November 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Looks super fresh and tasty! And after this weekend I think I should probably have a day of eating nothing but this 😉

  10. helvetic woman
    November 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    i am swiss and i wonder why it is called swiss chard?…. 🙂

  11. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    November 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    This would look especially pretty with the rainbow chard growing in our yard! Thanks for the recipe, Nick! 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Yes, rainbow chard would work beautifully (I have a rainbow chard recipe going up in the coming days :D)

  12. christina @ smallkitchenchronicles
    November 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this recipe — I just love your take on food and your pics are always glorious and inspiring =)

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m glad you like my blog 🙂

  13. chitchatandallofthat
    November 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I need to make this! It looks so fresh and beautiful!

  14. milkandbun
    November 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    So simple and tasty and colourful!

  15. zanzanaglob
    November 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I am planning to try a risotto with Swiss Chard (‘Coste’ for me), if I end up with something I will tell you! 🙂

  16. Renuka Mendis
    November 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    this seems lovely.

    oh i can kick myself! made a swiss chard curry flavoured stir fry which was just sublime this afternoon. and dressed it with a lemon which took it to another level. stellar vegetable. and the colour just lifts ones spirits.

  17. petit4chocolatier
    November 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Looks delicious and I love seeing it raw in a salad! My grandmother (originally from Italy) would cook it all the time. I loved it. But I love this even more. Looks like a healthy perfection, simple and yet elegant!!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Yes! Raw salad has a certain pleasing texture about it! thanks 🙂

  18. Sarah
    November 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Swiss Chard is to me the Cadillac of greens. Kale? Collards? Meh. Swiss Chard? Hello!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Fantastic! I have to say, I’m starting to agree 😀

  19. movita beaucoup
    November 25, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    My mother’s new nickname is Swiss Chard. I wish I were kidding.

  20. Food and Forage Hebrides
    November 26, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Love, love, love chard, raw and cooked – I grow rainbow chard. The local rabbits adore it too…. Lovely salad recipe, I am always desparate for salad ideas in autumn/winter. I will give it a try.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

      I think this may be right up your street!

  21. bonfood
    November 26, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Isnt chard like coloured silverbeet?. Lovely looking salad. I ate something similar yesterday with sall pieces of roasted pumpkin and sweet potato and toasted sunflower seeds in it. Delish

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

      I have no idea! Is that an American term for something else? That sounds great!

  22. Jayne
    November 26, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Is Swiss chard similar to Chinese large bok choy? It’s looks so much like it and I do eat bok choy (minis up to the extra large ones) very often. Interesting recipe to try out as I’ve never had it raw before.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Umm – not really, though they do have a similar look. Bok choy is a little more crunchy and doesn’t have quite so much flavour. Chard is almost cabbagy. I did a salad with bok choy recently!

  23. strawberryquicksand
    November 26, 2012 at 3:43 am

    I find it is often easy to be more frugal than usual by shopping in smaller places. For example – my local fruit and veggie store sells 8kg bags of onions for about $6 or so, whereas in Coles a 1kg bag can cost $3.. . My local Asian grocery store sells udon noodles – four packs for $3 whereas Woolies sells two packs for $3….

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Sometimes, yes! Different places have different deals etc… I’d prefer to shop at local shops though if possible 😀

  24. cookinginsens
    November 26, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Looks like a Christmas wreath. Nice photos.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

      I suppose it does a little – thanks, Rosemary!

  25. Joanna
    November 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Regretting not planting chard this year, which greengrocer has it? I would love to get some and try your salad 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

      It’s the one one North Street in Bedminster, almost opposite the tobacco factory! It’s a great little green grocer!

  26. BabyBoomerBakes
    November 26, 2012 at 11:59 am

    This salad look so good! I’ll have to pick up some chard at the Farmer’s Market this morning.

  27. Mary MacGowan
    November 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    nice food blog!
    thanks for stopping by plucky umbrella, mary

  28. yiyime
    November 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Awesome presentation. Your dish looks yummy and most importantly healthy . I use chard quite often and I love it!

  29. Smedette
    November 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Love chard; it’s my go-to green.

    (Also very easy to grow and quite attractive in the garden!)

  30. Healthnut Nutrition
    November 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    This looks great! I’ve had chard in soups and stir fry’s but never raw in a salad:) And I love use cider vinegar for dressing! great choice <3

    • frugalfeeding
      December 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      give it a go and the cider vinegar works perfectly!

  31. allythebell
    November 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Can you please convince the Pie that it’s worth eating? I grew up on the stuff but he won’t touch it.

  32. thebestdressup
    November 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    ciao! healthy yum.

  33. annesturetucker
    November 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Oh this look so fresh and good! Beautiful photos!
    I love the earthy flavor in chard – I am sure that salad is wonderful!

  34. eatwellchef
    November 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Swiss chard is such an amazing veggie! It’s full of calcium, vitamins, and other minerals. One great thing about swiss chard is that it’s very easy to grow. I have seen it not only survive, but thrive in cold and snowy weather. Just brush the snow away, and there’s your swiss chard, looking for all the world like it’s enjoying balmy, tropical breezes.

    Thanks for sharing all the good things you do. I enjoy reading your posts.

    • frugalfeeding
      December 2, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      It is indeed! I have a rainbow chard recipe too, soon!It is very hardy – I’m glad you like my posts!

  35. Catherine
    November 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    It’s also ridiculously easy to grow, if you have any garden space at all. Also, have you tried rainbow chard? Hot pink or orange or red or yellow stems and veins – glorious!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Indeed it is! I have… rainbow chard recipe incoming!

  36. Inge
    November 27, 2012 at 4:11 am


  37. Julie @ happygoodtime
    November 27, 2012 at 5:45 am

    This looks beautiful!

  38. revgastronomique
    November 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Reblogged this on revgastronomique and commented:
    This salad has minimal ingredients but is delicious . Elaine K., I think you would love it! And everyone, this could easily make up half your plate of veggies!

  39. thatoldschoolgirl
    November 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

    dern I wish this was posted in the summer when I had so much in my garden I had no idea what to do with it all

  40. hayley
    November 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Wow- I have never heard of chard before! I didn’t even know it existed!

  41. Somer
    November 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I think the simple dressing with the chile sounds incredible. I’ve always sauteed swiss chard or used it for veggie rolls. I love the idea of it as the star in a salad!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 2, 2012 at 12:19 am

      And what a star it was, Somer! It shone right out!

  42. magefesausa
    November 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Nice recipe and nice price too!

  43. manonlesko
    November 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    This looks amazing! And thanks for visiting my blog.

  44. madebymum
    November 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Hello, thanks for visiting my blog. I have just had a very quick peek at yours and I am very taken with the photos. We often grow Swiss Chard and love it. I just wish I could convert my Mum and children! We had a bit of a fail with our growing this year but I must remember next year. I am always amazed by how hardy it is. Anyway, I’m blathering – nice to see a UK blog.

    • frugalfeeding
      December 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      No problem! Thanks! Too many American blogs around here 😀

  45. Shira
    November 29, 2012 at 4:39 am