This Swiss Chard Salad is a delicious combination of autumn/fall flavours that will have your taste buds dancing! Don't miss out on this elegant yet easy salad that you can whip up in no time and is perfect for cool weather entertaining.
As the weather starts to cool down and Summer starts to give way to Autumn/Fall, it's time to start thinking about delicious dishes that will make your taste buds dance!
This Swiss Chard Salad is the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavours that is sure to become a hit at your next dinner party or gathering.
The key ingredients in this recipe are swiss chard, pears, and manchego cheese. The swiss chard provides a hearty base that is complemented by the sweetness of the sliced pear and the nuttiness of the cheese. To bring all these flavours together, a fragrant sage vinaigrette adds a herbal note to this salad.
Another one of our great leafy green salads to try is our Rainbow Swiss Chard Salad; one more delicious leafy salad to try is our elegant Radicchio Pear Salad.
Are Spinach, Silverbeet and Swiss Chard the Same?
Not sure if it's silverbeet or chard? It can be confusing, as the two are actually from the same family - Beta vulgaris. Where you're from can determine the name - in Australia we call it silverbeet, while in the States it's referred to as chard.
Silverbeet and Swiss chard You might come across the terms 'silverbeet' and 'Swiss chard' being used differently, but they're actually the same species. Silverbeet is usually the green with white stems, while Swiss chard or rainbow chard often has coloured stems and veins (crimson, red and yellow).
Spinach is different, though - it's known as Spinacia oleracea, and has smaller leaves and a softer texture than silverbeet, with a green stem rather than a large, thick white or coloured stem.
For something milder, you might want to try baby spinach. This popular flat-leaf green has soft, tender leaves, making it perfect for salads.
Confused yet? Just remember that silverbeet and chard are the same, and spinach is different - easy!
What is Manchego Cheese?
Manchego cheese is a semi-hard cheese from the La Mancha wilderness of central Spain. It's made from Manchega sheep's milk and is known for its distinctive herringbone rind and a unique sweet, nutty flavour.
With age, its texture hardens, developing a granular, flaky texture with tiny pores, and its flavours deepen and become more rounded and toasty. It's a delicious cheese with a zesty, piquant character and a hint of dried herbs.
As an alternative to Manchego cheese, you can try Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino-Romano, or a Monterrey Jack or a very good quality cheddar would also work well here.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Our Swiss Chard Salad Recipe is versatile and allows for many substitutions:
- Greens – we used iron-rich silverbeet for its earthy taste and because it holds up well. Swap for spinach, rainbow chard, kale or even arugula/rocket.
- Pears – we used sweet corella pears for their red colour, but red Anjou or even Bartlet pears would work. Or swap out the pears completely for sweet.
- Macadamias – we used creamy macadamias, but you could also try some hazelnuts or brazil nuts.
- Cheese – we used Manchego, a Spanish semi-hard cheese that has a piquant, nutty flavour. You can replace it with shaved Parmesan or pecorino, Monterrey jack or good-quality cheddar.
- Dressing - we have blitzed up a sensational sage vinaigrette dressing for this salad which works beautifully with the earthy silverbeet. For a simpler dressing, try our lemony garlic vinaigrette or our Dijon vinaigrette.
Variations to Try
Swap the pears for crunchy apples such as red delicious. Try some crumbled feta cheese or creamy goat's cheese instead, or if you like blue cheese, a good quality crumbly blue would be great.
You Will Need
How to Make It
Step 1 - Start with the Vinaigrette.
In order for the flavours to develop, start with the vinaigrette.
Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a bullet blender or mini food processor, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and pulse until combined.
Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Step 2 - Prepare the Swiss Chard and Pears.
Wash the Swiss chard, remove the thick white stems (you can save to use in stock or a stir fry) and any damaged leaves, then thinly shred (chiffonade style).
Wash the pear, remove the core and slice it into thin wedges; keep your sliced pear in a saltwater bath until you are ready to assemble your salad (this will prevent it from browning – 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water).
Step 3 - Assemble Your Swiss Chard Salad
Place your silverbeet in a large mixing bowl, drain your pears and pat them dry and add to your bowl along with half the macadamias and half the shaved Manchego.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter the remaining macadamias and Manchego on top to garnish and serve.
Make Ahead Tips
- You can make the dressing the day before and keep it in a covered container in your fridge.
- You can shave the manchego and crush the macadamias.
- You can wash, trim and shred the silverbeet and keep it in a container covered with water in your fridge the day before. Just make sure that you strain it well before adding it to your salad.
- If you soak your pear slices in salted water (1 teaspoon of salt for 1 cup of water), it will prevent them from browning.
- The nuts and cheese make this a substantial enough salad to keep you satisfied throughout the day, but you can also add some cooked pasta or a cooked grain such as quinoa or a protein such as grilled chicken or pork fillets if you like. For some vegan protein, chickpeas work well here.
This Silverbeet Salad tastes great as an accompaniment to a roasted pork loin, a grilled steak, or a grilled chicken.
Because it is so substantial, it is great to serve alongside a hearty beef stew or tagine or casserole, and its sharp earthiness works well with a nice creamy pasta such Pasta carbonara.
People Also Ask
Swiss chard is a nutrient-dense leafy green, and as such, it can be eaten raw in a salad. The stems need to be very finely sliced or diced to be eaten raw; we haven't used them in this salad. I added them to a stir fry the following day, but you can also freeze them to add to soups, stews and casseroles.
It has an earthy grassy taste and likes to be paired with strong-flavoured or sweet dressings to reduce its bitterness.
Steamed, sauteed, or raw - Swiss Chard is so versatile! It's perfect for salads, soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas and quiches - a great way to get your greens.
Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fibre. It also contains small amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. It is very low in calories and fat. Swiss chard is a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help protect against chronic diseases.
Our Swiss Chard Salad is suitable for keto, low carb and gluten-free eaters. Leave out the cheese to make it paleo, whole30 and vegan.
Each serving contains 320 calories with a net carb count of 12 grams.
(Please note we use a nutritional database to calculate the nutritional information and should be considered as an estimate).
More Leafy Green Salads to Try
- Spinach Mandarin Salad
- Smoky Spinach and Mushroom Salad
- Kale Salad Pomegranate and Roasted Chickpeas
- Tri-colour Salad with Winter Greens
- Spinach and Pumpkin Salad
- 1 Bullet or High Speed Blender or Small Food Processor
- 1 Mandoline or V-Slicer
- 180 grams Silverbeet or Chard (1 bunch weighing approroximately 400 grams/6.35 ounces to make up 5 cups shredded)
- 350 grams red pears, I used corella pears (2 medium pears, 12.35 ounces )
- ½ cup macadamias (roasted and chopped)
- 2 tablespoons Manchego, shaved (approximately 30 grams, 1 ounce)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a bullet blender or mini food processor and pulse until combined.
- Wash the silver beet, remove the thick white stems (you can save to use in a stock) and any damaged leaves, then chiffonade* and transfer to a bowl.
- Wash the pear, remove the core and slice into thin wedges, add to your bowl with half the macadamias. Shave the Manchego cheese and add half to the bowl.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
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