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2000s Recipes + Menus

Grilled rainbow chard with fava beans and oregano

Serves4 (side dish)
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:25 min
July 2008
The stems of Swiss chard get short shrift way too often; when they're beautiful rainbow chard, they deserve a dish all their own. Blanched to remove toughness, then grilled—yes, we like our chard charred—their earthiness is a natural complement to meaty fava beans.
  • 2 lb Swiss chard (preferably rainbow), stems and center ribs cut out (reserve leaves for another use)
  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods) or shelled fresh or frozen edamame (soybeans; 3/4 pound in pods)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Blanch chard stems:

  • Halve stems crosswise and cook in a large pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until just barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness). Cool in an ice bath, reserving cooking water, then transfer to a plate.

Prepare fava beans:

  • Cook beans in boiling water 3 minutes, then drain and transfer to ice bath. Gently peel off skins (if using edamame, don’t peel).

Grill stems and assemble dish:

  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure.
  • Toss chard stems with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Oil grill rack, then grill chard stems, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, about 7 minutes. Cut into 1-inch lengths.
  • Cook garlic in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until just pale golden. Add oregano, beans, and chard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Cooks' note: Chard can be blanched and beans cooked 1 day ahead and chilled separately.
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