Swiss Chard is one of those funny vegetables that lots of people grow in their veg patches or allotments, but then don’t really know what to do with. I’ve had a bumper crop this year of a lovely variety called “Bright Lights” rainbow chard, which really is as pretty as it sounds. Chard is fairly easy to find in supermarkets and greengrocers, but if you can’t get hold of it, any other green leafy vegetable like kale or spinach would work equally well here.
This dish is not just delicious but also insanely good for you – plenty of protein from lots of lentils, iron and vitamins from leafy green chard, and fibre and vitamins from the skin-on new potatoes. Serve with brown rice and this is a nutritionist’s dream!
Don’t be put off by the 1 hour cook time – only 10 mins of that is hands-on, and after that you can put your feet up as it simmers away, infusing all those lovely flavours through the potato and lentils. This would work really well in a slow-cooker, and is just as good, (possibly better!), the following day so why not make up a bigger batch and save some for lunch?! (Or use it as a ready-made stuffing for my Butternut Squash filled with Spicy Lentil Dhal)!
Swiss Chard & New Potato Dhal
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- EITHER 3 cloves garlic, 3cm piece ginger, 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp cumin, 1tsp chilli flakes
- OR 2tbsp pre-made indian spice paste (such as korma paste)
- 1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
- 300 g new potatoes, sliced into thick rounds
- 200 g swiss chard (or rainbow chard, or any other green leafy vegetable)
- 200 g lentils (I used a mix of red and green, but use whatever you have in the cupboard!)
- 500 g water
- 1 lemon
- Heat the oil in a large pan (one with a lid), and add the onion. Fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes then add EITHER the spice paste OR the garlic (peeled and crushed), ginger (peeled and finely chopped), turmeric, cumin and chilli flakes. Continue to fry gently for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Chop the stalks of the chard (leaving the leaves aside for later), and add these to the pan with the tomato, potatoes and lentils, then pour over the water. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with the lid and leave to cook for 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Stir from time to time - you may need to add a little more water towards the end of the cooking time.
- Finely chop the chard leaves, then stir these through the dhal. Finally, turn off the heat, squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pan and stir through. Serve with rice and naan bread.
For more Swiss Chard ideas, have a look at these delicious recipes from blogging friends:
- Kate’s Chard Dark Chocolate Torte from Veggie Desserts
- Lucy’s Red Pepper & Chard Pesto from BakingQueen74
I’m entering this recipe into Jac’s Meat-Free Mondays challenge over at the fabulous Tinned Tomatoes Blog – why not hop over for a look!