Recipe courtesy of Deborah Madison

Braised Chard Stems with Saffron and Tomato

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 pound chard stems

1 quart water simmering with 1 bay leaf, 2 onion slices, 2 thyme sprigs, juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly milled pepper, to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons approximately, basil leaves, torn into small pieces, plus extra for garnish

Pinch of saffron threads

2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the broiler on low.

Trim the chard stems, then cut into 2 to 3inch lengths, on the diagonal.

Drop them into the simmering water, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until tender but still just a little resistant to the knife, about 12 minutes. Scoop them out, reserving the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a 10inch skillet with the onion, basil, and saffron threads. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and the saffron begins to yield its color, about 5 minutes. Add the blanched chard stems, season with salt and pepper, then add a cup of the reserved cooking water. Simmer, covered, until the stems are fully tender, about 7 minutes. Remove the lid, add the tomatoes, and cook until the remaining liquid has reduce to a syrupy consistency.

Transfer the cooked chard stems to a small gratin dish. Scatter the cheese over the top then slide under the broiler until the cheese is lightly browned in places. Garnish with a few more torn basil leaves, then serve

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Show: Chef Du Jour
Episode: Deborah Madison

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