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Swiss Chard Salad with Cumin and Harissa

An array of small plates of salads and appetizers is a very Israeli way to start a meal. Here is another local favorite to add to your collection. Easy to make and perfumed with Cumin and Harissa, this dish can also be served as a garnish for meat or fish dishes.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup oil

  • 7 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon Harissa

  • 3/4-1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
    To Serve:

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds 

Thoroughly wash the Swiss chard. Trim off the tips of the stalks and cut the rest into 1 inch square bits. Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add the salt and blanch the chard for 4-5 minutes until it wilts and turns bright green.


Transfer to a bowl with ice water to stop cooking. Drain and squeeze out the buy hand.


Heat the oil in a non-stick pan together with minced garlic. Take care not to burn the garlic. Add Swiss chard and sauté for a minute, stirring constantly. Add harissa and cumin and sauté briefly. Add vinegar or lemon juice.


Cool, adjust seasoning, sprinkle with pomegranates and serve. The salad can be made in advance and kept refrigerated, but the pomegranate seeds must be added at the last moment.  


Variations: Skip the blanching and sauté fresh chard in the pan with garlic. The texture will be crispier and the flavors more pronounced. 


photo: Dania Weiner

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