This vibrant and flavourful Chard Salad contains a powerhouse of essential vitamins to help boost your immunity and fight off colds. It looks amazing; it's delicious, healthy and a perfect way to brighten up any meal!
This Chard Salad provides a fresh and delicious combination of crunchy chard, creamy avocado, sweet mandarins, and a zesty mandarin lime vinaigrette. The accompanying seeds add a delightful crunch. As an excellent alternative to coleslaw, it is sure to be a hit with all who try it.
If you are keen to try another delicious salad, why not try or Swiss Chard Salad Recipe?
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Colourful Rainbow Chard – forms a crisp base for this salad, but if you cannot find colourful chard, you can easily replace it with silverbeet, beet greens or kale or red kale if you can find it.
- Avocado – adds some wonderful creaminess and healthy fats, which makes you feel fuller for longer.
- Mandarins – use your favourite variety – clementine, tangerine, satsuma or swap for oranges, tangelos, blood oranges, or even with ruby red grapefruit if you like its tart taste.
- Coriander (Cilantro) - can also be replaced with any soft herb that you would prefer, such as mint, parsley, tarragon, fennel, or dill.
- Seeds - replace the seeds with any nuts you have in your cupboard; walnuts and almonds are great, but I would roast them and slightly crush them first.
- The dressing – for this salad is zesty and made with fresh lemon juice, mandarin and lime juice which combats the bitterness of the chard. Depending on the sweetness of your mandarins, this can be a tart dressing; taste and adjust with some sweetener such as honey if you prefer. For something easy, you could make a simple lemony dressing instead.
Our Rainbow Swiss Chard Salad is delicious as is, but you can get creative with what ingredients you add to make it your own. Need some ideas? Here are a few to get you started and let your imagination do the rest.
- To make it heartier, try adding a protein such as grilled chicken or salmon, or for a vegan/vegetarian option, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are also great here.
- For some added bulk, add a grain such as farro, bulgur wheat or couscous;
- Love cheese, you can’t go wrong with crumbled feta cheese, creamy goat cheese, or shaved or grated parmesan; all work in this salad.
- Try dried cranberries, sultanas, or golden raisins for added sweetness.
Tips & Tricks
- As chard's stems tend to brown after cutting, I would wait to cut them an hour before serving. Or you could cut them several hours in advance and place them in a bowl with cold water in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the salad. Don’t forget to drain well and dry; otherwise, it will water down your gorgeous vinaigrette.
- The mandarin can be prepared the day before and stored covered in your fridge until you are ready to assemble the salad.
- You can make the dressing a day before and store it in a covered container in your fridge.
- If your mandarins are too tart, add some honey or maple syrup to the dressing.
- Chiffonade is a slicing technique where green vegetables and herbs, such as spinach, basil, sorrel, etc., are cut into long, thin strips. To do this, stack the leaves on top of each other, gently roll them into a cigar, and then use a sharp knife to slice them into thin ribbons.
How to Make This Salad
Step 1 – Wash and Prepare the Chard
Wash the chard well, cut off the chard stems remove any damaged leaves. Spin the leaves in a salad spinner to remove the excess water.
Trim the stem ends then finely dice them.
Then stack the leaves on top of each other.
Roll the leaves into a cigar shape.
Then finely shred them chiffonade style into ribbosn.
Step 2 – Slice and Dice the Ingredients
Peel the mandarins, separate them into segments and remove the pith.
Cut them in half lengthwise and remove any seeds you come across.
Wash the coriander (cilantro) leaves and shake to remove the excess water, then pat dry with a towel and roughly chop.
Peel the avocados, remove the seeds, and then cut them into large dice.
Step 3 – Shake Up the Dressing
Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
Or you could just place them in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Step 4 – Assemble Your Chard Salad
Add the chard stems, mandarin slices, diced avocado and coriander in a large bowl and add the seeds.
Pour the dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper.
Mix until well combined, then taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange it on a salad platter, scatter some extra seeds on top to garnish. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Serving Suggestions 🍽
This is a great all-around salad that pairs well with chicken, beef, pork, fish, sausage, beans, pasta and rice dishes. We served ours with a pork belly roast.
Tips and Questions
What is Rainbow Chard?
Did you know that rainbow chard isn't a real type of chard? It's actually just a mix of white-stemmed Swiss chard, red chard, and golden chard. But don't be fooled - when you put these three together, they definitely pack a flavourful punch! When the stalks are all white, it is also known as silverbeet.
It is a cousin to beetroot, with the obvious difference being that chard is a dark leafy green vegetable and beets are a root vegetable. Chard leaves are mild, sweet, earthy and just slightly bitter, while the stems are ribbed like celery and are tougher with an earthy flavour and an astringent taste reminiscent of beets.
It can be found at most farmers' markets in the late summer to autumn/fall. It can be enjoyed raw or cooked in many of the same ways you would use spinach or kale. It's a versatile veggie that can be steamed or sautéed and thrown into soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas, and quiches. If you've got young leaves on hand, you can even eat 'em raw in salads. Yum!
Is Chard Healthy?
It is super nutritious, boasting a whopping 700 times the recommended daily requirement of vitamin K and 200 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
It is sure to help support bone health through the building up of calcium and aid in proper blood coagulation and vision enhancement. Additionally, its impressive level of vitamin A also helps to boost immune system functioning.
How Do You Choose Chard?
When picking out chard for raw salads, you'll want to make sure it's young chard or baby chard. The more mature the leaves, the more bitter they are. Make sure the leaves are firm, not wilted without blemishes.
Can Chard Be Eaten Raw in a Salad?
Yes, chard can be eaten raw in a salad, just like kale and spinach. Just don’t forget to use young or baby chard; otherwise, it can get bitter.
But, we have also paired it with sweet mandarins and a punchy mandarin lime dressing to help to reduce its bitterness.
How Long Can I Store It?
Our raw chard salad will stay fresh in the fridge for around 2-3 days - just make sure you store it in a container with an airtight lid.
This salad is suitable for all diets - vegan, paleo, whole30, keto/low-carb, gluten and dairy free. It is a low-calorie salad with 276 calories per serving and with a net carb count of 9 grams.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
- Salad Spinner
- 400 grams rainbow chard (1 bunch of chard, approximately 14.11 ounces)
- 360 grams mandarins (4 mandarins, approximately 12.7 ounces)
- 400 grams avocados (2 medium, approximately 14.1 ounces)
- 1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 4 tablespoons mixed seeds1 (toasted)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup mandarin juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted mixed seeds1
- Wash the rainbow chard well, trim and pat dry.
- Finely dice the stems and chiffonade the leaves.
- Peel your mandarins, remove the pith and seeds, separate them into segments then cut them in half lengthways.
- Wash and dry your coriander (cilantro) roughly chop.
- Add all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Peel the avocados, remove the seeds, and then cut them into a large dice.
- Addd all the prepped ingredients to a large bowl, pour over the dressing, season, add the seeds and toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonins.
- Arrange the salad in a salad platter, scatter the extra seeds and top to garnish.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- I used pepitas, sunflower seeds, linseeds, and sesame seeds.