Lentils and Chard

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

Enjoy this winning combination of flavor and nutrients from a healthy dose of protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. You can have it on the table in under an hour from start to finish!


  • 1 pound dried lentils
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole clove garlic
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped and divided
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut in half and then cut into thick ribs, separated
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, leaves included, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, about 2 pounds, green, red, or rainbow, well washed and drained, stalks cut in half lengthwise, then cut into ½-inch pieces, and leaves cut into 1-inch slices
  • 7-8 large leaves basil


  1. Sort the lentils for any stones, then rinse the lentils and drain. Put the sorted lentils and the water in a heavy pot. Cover and place the pot over high heat. Add the bay leaf, garlic, and about a teaspoon of the chopped shallots to the lentils. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook the lentils at a low-medium boil for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender to your preference. The time will vary depending on how old the lentils are; the older they are, the drier they are and the longer they need to cook to become tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining shallots, the red onion, and the sliced garlic. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Add the celery and the chard. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper. Using two wooden spoons, toss the celery and chard with the onions to coat with the oil. Cover the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, using two wooden spoons to occasionally toss until the chard stalks are tender to your preference. Tear the basil leaves, then stir them into chard, stirring well to combine. Taste for seasonings.
  3. Remove from the heat and cover the chard to keep it warm until the lentils are tender to your preference. When the lentils are tender, add the cooked chard and all the juices to the lentils and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings.