Chard times

I’m a sucker for a stir-fry and it’s often my go-to when I’m tired, busy or just feeling lazy. Sometimes, though, I get a bit bored of my usual broccoli, ginger and soy sauce combo. Variety is the spice of life, non? This stir-fry is zippy and zesty and features the most vibrant of all the vegetables: rainbow chard. These lively leaves are available all year round but are at their best between July and November. They’re a good source of fibre, iron, calcium and vitamins A, C, K. Best of all, chard is easy to cook and is delicious with lemon and garlic.

On Sunday evening, I was flagging after a family day out (the Dr Who Experience sure is confusing when you’ve never really watched the TV show) and couldn’t be bothered to do a full-on roast dinner. I guess this is a quicker, less heavy version of that Sunday staple – and it goes very well with a glass of red. It’s lovely and lemony and the thyme adds a subtle woodiness.

I’m a recent convert to jarred chickpeas (Nigella’s right when she says that they’re superior) and you can buy them in most supermarkets and world food shops. If you can’t find them, you can just use the canned variety.

More charred than chard, but hey ho…


Stir-fry with rainbow chard, chickpeas and baby new potatoes


200g rainbow chard, washed and roughly sliced

1 jar (540g) chickpeas

200g baby new potatoes, halved

1 courgette, cut into strips

2 cloves smoked garlic

1 lemon

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves – or dried thyme

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil



In a large wok, heat the olive oil on a high heat then add the potatoes, the juice of half a lemon and some salt and pepper. Fry for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add a little water so that the potatoes don’t burn. Turn the heat down to medium, add the chickpeas –including the brine – courgette, garlic and thyme to the pan and squeeze over the juice of another half lemon. After a couple of minutes, add the chard and a little more water then cook for another ten minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Serve in bowls, squeeze over some more lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, if you like.


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