Swiss Chard with Garlic Scapes and Cultured Butter

Swiss Chard sautéed with garlic scapes and cultured butter

It is two weeks now into our CSA share with Transpire Organic and I have a new favourite veggie – sautéed swiss chard.  I am by nature a very picky eater and you couldn’t have paid me to eat wilted greens when I was little, but I thought I would give it a go. When I served myself this dish for the first time last week I was quite trepidatious as I brought the fork to my mouth.  I was worried it would be like spinach, but it wasn’t at all. Swiss chard has a mild flavour unlike spinach, which to me is very strong and smells funny when cooked.  I’m having a hard time thinking of a way to describe the taste so that people who have never tried wilted greens, or are slightly freaked at the thought like I was can get a good idea of the flavour. It is best to just try to imagine how a really thick lettuce leaf would taste if it was sautéed.

I sautéed the chard with cultured butter and garlic scapes. You may be wondering what the hell cultured butter and garlic scapes are. There are different ways to make cultured butter and I’m not sure how the butter I used was made but I have been reading a blog called Tigress in a Pickle that I discovered on Punk Domestics, and she makes her own. It is basically butter that has a slightly tangy flavour due to the addition of a bacterial culture (think yogurt – not mold).  My source for this butter is one of my best food source discoveries in a long time – Bailey’s, of course. It makes me not miss Trader Joe’s quite so much. I still really miss that store :(.

Alright, so what are garlic scapes? They are the curly tops of the garlic bulb that farmers cut off so that the bulbs grow better. They are a lot milder than garlic cloves. When I first chopped them, I was surprised at how solid they are. I thought they would be like green onions, but they were tougher which in the end makes them much nicer to sauté.

1/2 lb of Swiss Chard before it cooks down to about 1 cup

Unless you are a masochist, don’t even bother to try to get a toddler to eat this. Tim put some on his plate of his own accord and then threw it back.  I think he just wanted to touch it, but I didn’t offer it to him since I knew he would say ‘No Mummy’. He was really only interested in the Chorizo sausage that was the protein part of our dinner last night. It was the first meal out on our new patio Simon put in, I might add. The patio that Tim fell and his his head on, of course.  It is pretty damn tempting to put a helmet on him as he gets braver and falls more.

Get a hold of some very fresh Swiss Chard and try this recipe! If you are a skeptic like I was, you will be a convert after the first bite. Although I used butter, I will still be classifying this dish as ‘healthy’ since dark leafy greens are so good for you. You could always swap the butter for a healthier fat, like olive oil but it won’t taste as good.

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Garlic Scapes and Cultured Butter
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Christina Austin,
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Swiss Chard, sauteed with butter and garlic scapes is a simple and delicious way to serve this nutrition powerhouse.
  • 1/2 lb fresh Swiss Chard, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cultured butter (or regular butter)
  • 1 garlic scape, diced (or half a garlic cloved finely chopped)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Wash the chard, trim off the very end of the stems and discard. Chop the thick stems into small pieces and then roughly chop the leaves into large pieces. I gather up a bunch of the leaves, roll them up and chop them that way (chiffonade). Makes it go much faster.
  2. Chop the garlic scape into 1 cm bits.
  3. Put the butter in the bottom of the pan and add all the Swiss Chard and chopped garlic scapes.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and saute on a medium heat for 5 minutes or until the leaves are all nicely wilted and the thick stems have softened slightly.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
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  1. Anonymous says

    That butter is the best butter I have ever eaten by a long shot. I don't think I even want to buy our regular butter after eating that. How can we go back?

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