I cannot imagine gardening without Swiss chard. What a tough, good-tempered plant it is, and so handsome grown in a container. It is so productive that sometimes the challenge is to keep coming up with fresh ideas for how to use it. This recipe makes a fantastic accompaniment – try it with roast lamb or chicken. My friend Susan Dyer likes to make a simple side dish by cutting Swiss chard into 10cm long pieces, tossing with olive oil, salt and pepper then roasting in a hot oven until tender.


  • 2 large bunches (about 500g) Swiss chard washed (use both the stalks/stems and leaves)
  • 40g Flaked almonds
  • 2tbsp Butter
  • 2 Spring onions trimmed and chopped
  • 100g Full-fat cream cheese
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper


  • STEP 1

    Separate the Swiss chard stalks from the leaves. Thinly slice the stalks across (these take a bit longer to cook) then bunch up the leaves and slice them across into 2.5cm strips.

  • STEP 2

    Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan for 5 minutes, moving them around in the pan to stop them catching and burning. Remove from the heat and reserve 2tbsp of the toasted almonds for garnish.

  • STEP 3

    Return the pan to the heat, add the butter, then the spring onions and Swiss chard stalks, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Once soft, add the Swiss chard leaves, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the leaves have wilted and the stalks are tender.

  • STEP 4

    Add the cream cheese to the pan and stir over low heat until it has melted and coated the chard. Season to taste with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

  • STEP 5

    To serve, transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the reserved toasted almonds.

This recipe is taken from Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots by Aaron Bertelsen (Phaidon, £29.95).