Creamy Swiss Chard for my Practice Thanksgiving

Creamy Swiss Chard

Sometimes the “pre-holiday” is actually better than the “holiday”. You get all the spirit without all the stress. So I like to make the most of the “pre-holidays”. This Creamy Swiss Chard with Coconut is an important part of the stress free “pre-holiday” for me. Because I often “practice” what I’m going to make each year for the “holiday”. It helps make the “holiday” as stress free as the “pre-holiday”.

Some folks make the exact same thing every Thanksgiving. Which is great, but I’m not like that. I almost never make the same thing two years in a row. It’s why I feel the need to sometimes practice a dish. To be clear I do have “must haves” for my holiday celebration. They’re usually the things my mother made. But my “must haves” are usually a just broad category. Like turkey. Turkey is a “must have”. But I almost never do it the same way twice. Roasted. Fried. Dry-brined. Spatchcocked. I’ll usually try something new each year even when it comes to the turkey. I’m considering serving only the turkey drumsticks this year. They’re a once a year treat so I think I’ll give them the “holiday” star treatment this Thanksgiving. Check back soon for that “pre-holiday” post. I’m practicing a Pumpkin Glazed Turkey Drumstick I think you’ll like.

Besides turkey, stuffing or dressing (I’m not really sure what the difference is there) is a “must have”.  As are carrots at my house. Some sort of greens always make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table. There’s a Southern boy lurking inside me. We Southern boys always ate greens on Thanksgiving. Fortunately for us greens lovers, greens have made a resurgence. The healthy qualities in leafy greens have made them almost trendy. Which means finding new and exciting ways to prepare all kinds of greens is easier than it has ever been.

Wine Pairing

Galda Brut NV 

Galda Brut NV
Quick, what wine are you planning to serve at Thanksgiving? Don’t answer with your “default wine” (same idea as Greg’s default pasta), Beaujolais Nouveau. You can be more creative and find better wines around the same (reasonable) price point. Take bubbly, for instance. You’ll note that I didn’t say “Champagne.” Champagne, a decent one anyway, is out of […]
Ken Eskenazi

Price $10

Pairs well with appetizers, seafood, salads, and light bites

Creamy Swiss Chard

I saw this recipe for Creamy Swiss Chard with Coconut in the current (Nov ’13) issue of Martha Stewart Living. It caught my attention right away. I thought it would make a wonderful substitute for that creamy green bean muck that some people seem to require each year. I like it not just because it’s new (to me). Or because it’s a  healthier Thanksgiving side dish. I like it because coconut and chile de árbol are unexpected but completely appropriate flavors that perfectly accompany even the most traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Which is one reason I was thrilled to receive the Thanksgiving issue of Martha Stewart Living so early this year. I’ve had it in my hands at least a week. I have “practiced” more than one recipe. This Creamy Swiss Chard has been my favorite so far. Martha Stewart Living is one of my go-to subscriptions. That’s probably obvious if you’ve read this blog before. I particular trust the publication this time a year. The balance the magazine strikes between modern and traditional feels just right to me. It’s the same balance I strive for in my celebrations.

It’s also the balance that makes this Creamy Swiss Chard recipe a winner. The “creamy” in this dish comes from the unexpected splash of coconut milk, it’s the perfect modern touch for my traditional Thanksgiving greens. It’s also a dish that will go from “pre-holiday” to “holiday” for sure. GREG

PS There’s a bonus with this recipe– a Martha Stewart Living “Smart Strategy”. This bonus is the completely sensible suggestion to save the stems you cut away from the Swiss chard to roast separately. I’ll include notes on the technique pictured below at the bottom of the recipe.

Martha Stewart Creamy Swiss ChardMartha Stewart Creamy Swiss Chard

Creamy Swiss Chard with Coconut 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Martha Stweart Living (NovPublished

Don’t discard the stems. Toss them in olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degress for 15 minutes until just tender. Serve them alongside the chard leaves for an interesting dichotomy is taste and texture.


  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion (peeled and finely diced)
  • 2 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small dried red pepper (such as chile de arbol, stemmed and crumbled)
  • 2 pound Swiss chard (3 to 4 bunches), stems removed, torn into 2‑inch pieces (about 12 packed cups)
  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • coarse salt (as needed for seasoning)


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chile and cook until tender and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chard leaves, coconut milk, and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt.