Swiss Chard with Olives

Swiss chard, or other leafy green, sautéed with green olives, capers, green onions, and rosemary.

Swiss Chard with Olives
Elise Bauer

I've been on a chard kick this season, getting one or two bunches a week for the last several months. Chard cooks down to something more substantial than spinach, and is more tender and therefore cooks faster than kale or collard greens.

A few weeks ago I had some leftover olive tapenade from another cooking experiment and decided to toss it in with the sautéing chard. Wow, what a combo!

We're used to cooking up our greens with bacon, the bacon countering the bitterness of the greens. Well, oddly the olives and capers seem to do the same thing here, providing an earthy richness and a perky saltiness to balance the bitter of the green.

The olive mixture would work well with other greens as well, such as rabe or dandelion greens.

Make extra of the tapenade mixture (the olives, rosemary, capers, onion) and cover it with olive oil, store for several weeks in the refrigerator and then just take a scoop to add to whatever greens you are cooking.

Swiss Chard with Olives

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 2 to 3 servings


  • 1 ounce pitted green olives (about 10 medium size), roughly chopped or sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

  • 1 green onion or shallot, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon capers

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, rinsed and patted dry

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Make olive, rosemary, green onion, caper mixture:

    Mix together the olives, rosemary, green onion, and capers with a tablespoon of olive oil and let sit while you prep the chard.

  2. Prep chard leaves and stems:

    Use a knife to cut along the edges of the main stem of each leaf of chard, remove the stems. Cut the stems into 1/2-inch slices and set aside.

    Cut the leaves separately into 1-inch thick crosswise ribbons. Keep the leaves and the stems separate as you will be cooking them separately.

  3. Sauté chard stems:

    Heat a large, stick-free sauté pan on medium high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil, just enough to coat. When the oil is hot, add the chard stems. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until they begin to soften.

  4. Add olive mixture, then chard leaves:

    Stir in the olive mixture. Cook for a minute more, then add the chopped chard leaves to the pan.

    Use tongs or two large spoons to toss the chard leaves in with the rest of the mixture, so that the chard gets coated with olive oil.

  5. Cover, reduce heat:

    Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let cook a few minutes, lift the cover every once in a while to turn the leaves over in the pan. Once the chard has all wilted, remove from heat.

    Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.

Swiss Chard with Olives
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
88 Calories
6g Fat
8g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 266mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 431mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.