Chard with Chickpeas and Olives

Mary and June teamed up to make this side dish in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  The Chard with Chickpeas and Olives tastes wonderful stuffed into a pita, or served on top of brown rice for a quick vegetarian lunch.


This versatile Chard with Chickpeas and Olives side dish tastes best served hot or at room temperature.  The chickpeas lend sweetness and textures to this dish.


Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with red stems. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salad.  Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically used in soup like this Italian Wedding Soup or sauteed which reduces the bitter taste.


  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, or two small bunches
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup water or broth
  • 10 marinated green olives, quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • generous sprinkle of black pepper



chardchickpeas-3-300x200Rinsed and drained the chickpeas to remove the metallic taste from the can.
chardchickpeas-4-200x300Wash the chard thoroughly; no need to dry.  Use a knife to remove thick stems from the leaves.

Slice the stems into half-inch pieces, set aside.

chardchickpeas-5-300x200Stack several leaves on top of each other, roll into a cigar shape, and slice into 1-inch ribbons.
chardchickpeas-7-300x200Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute onion slices over medium high heat for 7 minutes, until fragrant and tender.  Add the chard stems and garlic and continue to saute for 3 minutes.
chardchickpeas-8-300x200Add the remaining ingredients (chard leaves, and chickpeas, water and olives).

Season with chili flakes, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 5 minutes until the leaves are tender.  Serve warm.

Mary and June, thank you for making this dish.

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