Swiss Chard – White Bean – Tomato Ragout

Still harvesting swiss chard, but what new to do with it?  I wanted something really flavorful, and different from the dishes I have already made this season. Last year I had tried a few white bean/tomato dishes that were very tasty.  So when I saw a dish in Martha Rose Shulman’s Mediterranean Harvest cookbook for a ragout  of swiss chard and white beans, it was time to try it.  The recipe below is based on hers.


I also was visiting Baxter Farms and Jay shared some of their freshly roasted soybeans (made from their own soybeans) with me.  I decided to crush some and add it as a topping for a little texture.

I was going to have an afternoon where I could fuss with it while I worked at home, so I used dried beans.  If you have less time, you can use canned beans, just make sure to rinse and drain them.  You would pick up the dish from the beginning of cooking the onions and tomatoes.

Swiss Chard – White Bean – Tomato Ragout

To make the beans:

1 pound dried white beans (great northern, canneloni) – soak overnight in 8 cups of water then drain

7 cups water

1/2 large onion, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

bouquet garni – made of a few sprigs of parsley, thyme, a bay leaf and parmesan rind. (from the garden)


In a large pot, combine the beans, water, onion, garlic and bouquet garni. Bring it to a boil and skim of any foam that forms.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.  Season with salt.

To make the rest:

Beans from above or 3 cans of canneloni beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 large onion, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried) (from the garden)

28-oz can of whole tomatoes, crush the tomatoes with your hand.

1 generous bunch of swiss chard (3/4-1 pound) (from the garden)

freshly ground pepper


freshly grated parmesan

crushed roasted soybeans (optional) (from Baxter Farms)

While the beans are simmering (or before doing anything with the canned beans), heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook about 1 minute, til fragrant.  Add the tomatoes and their juice.  Add salt to taste and cook, stirring often til it is cooked down and the mixture thickens, 15 – 20 minutes.

After the beans have cooked for an hour (or taking the drained beans), stir the tomatoes into the beans.  Simmer 30-60 minutes (30 if canned beans, 60 if dried).  The beans should be very tender.

Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves from the stems. Wash both.  Slice the stems 1/4″ thick and stir into the beans.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Shortly before serving, slice the chard leaves into slivers.  Stir them into the beans and simmer 5-10 minutes, til tender but still bright.  Discard the bouquet garni, add pepper, adjust salt if necessary.  Pass parmesan and crushed soybeans to sprinkle on top.

Serves 6

This is really, really good!!!!  Even my meat-lover really enjoyed it.  And the soybeans added a really nice touch.


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s