Recipe: Chard with garlic, quinoa, tomatoes and parsley

Chard with garlic, quinoa, tomatoes and parsley
Photography ©Andrew Montgomery

Chard with garlic, quinoa, tomatoes and parsley Photography ©Andrew Montgomery - Credit: Archant

Try Gill Meller’s super healthy summer salad from his latest book Root, Stem, Leaf Flower

Gill Meller harvesting artichokes in his garden Photography ©Andrew Montgomery

Gill Meller harvesting artichokes in his garden Photography ©Andrew Montgomery - Credit: Archant

There are several varieties of chard, but it’s rainbow chard I love the most. The leaves tend to be thick and waxy and grow like dark-green, billowy clouds stitched to multicoloured stems. Cooked

like cabbage or kale, it’s delicious simply boiled, trickled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. It has an intensely satisfying, silk-like texture, but it must be cooked until tender, not just

blanched for a few seconds. The bigger the plant gets, the fuller the stems become. Sometimes you can cook the stems as a separate vegetable – they have a slightly different flavour to the leaves

themselves. Chard plays a central role in this warm quinoa salad and has a particular affinity with sweet tomatoes, cumin and garlic.

Gill Meller's latest book

Gill Meller's latest book - Credit: Archant

Serves 4


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100g quinoa

1 large bunch of rainbow chard

500g ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed

2 tsp unrefined caster sugar

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Put the quinoa in a large pan and cover with plenty of salted water – you’ll need about three times as much water as quinoa. Place the pan over a medium–high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the

quinoa for about 10–12 minutes, or until the grains are tender. Drain well and set aside to cool.

2 Rinse the chard, then strip the leaves from their stalks. Slice the stalks into 1cm pieces and roughly chop the leaves.

3 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the sliced stalks. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then add the leaves and bring back to the simmer. Simmer for a further 2 minutes, until the stalks and leaves are tender, then drain and use the back of a spoon to press the excess water out of the leaves.

4 Place the tomatoes in a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and, when it’s hot, add the garlic and cumin and allow to sizzle for 1–2 minutes. Then, just as the garlic is colouring, pour the fragrant oil over the tomatoes. Add the sugar, vinegar, parsley and plenty of salt and pepper.

5 Tumble the tomatoes through the dressing. Now add the cooled quinoa and all the chard and use your hands to turn it all together gently. Transfer the salad onto a plate and serve.

Taken from Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: How to cook with vegetables and other plants published by Quadrille.

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Try Gill’s recipe for blackcurrant ripple goat’s milk sorbet and his best ever cucumber raita

Win a copy of Gill’s fabulous new book

Dorset Magazine has teamed up with the award-winning chef Gill Meller to offer one lucky winner a copy of his latest cookery book Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower. For a chance to win head to our Facebook page, like and share the post, comment on your favourite place to visit in Dorset and tag a friend you’d like to take there. A winner will be chosen at random from qualifying entries on Thursday 27 August. Entries must be received by Monday 24 August. Archant terms and conditions apply.

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