Plant Oriented Cooking

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RECIPE: Chard Caponata


  • 1 bunch of green or gold chard, leaves and stems separated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 spring onions, greens removed, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 150 g green olives, pitted and drained
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 25g sugar
  • 40g capers, soaked for 1 hour, rinsed and with excess salt removed if salt-packed
  • 20g sultanas, soaked for 1 hour, drained and squeezed of excess liquid
  • 20g pinenuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil as needed
  • A handful of basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Chop the leaves into bite sized pieces and wash and drain. Cut the stems into 1/8th inch wide slices across the stem.
  2. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Film it with oil and when it is hot, add and sauté the onion until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, stems, the green olives and the tomato passata and simmer covered on low to medium heat until the stems are getting tender, but still a little crunchy.
  4. Add the capers, the pine nuts, the sultanas, the vinegar and the sugar. Stir well, taste for and add salt.
  5. Add the chard leaves on top. Drizzle with a little oil and turn to coat.
  6. Transfer to serving bowl, cover and leave to rest for 2 hours at room temperature for the flavors to mix.
  7. Garnish with a couple of basil leaves and serve as an appetizer with plenty of bread on hand!

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