Side dish Saturdays: Sage chard with lemon-feta rice (4-6 servings)

This week's contribution comes from reader Neeli, who served this dish at Thanksgiving last year but has also used the recipe to stuff peppers and tomatoes. She graciously allowed me to use her directions and descriptions, so all that follows comes from her blog. I haven't tried the recipe myself, but I've been looking for motivation to finally try cooking chard, and this may be it!

Sage is fried in some butter, then added to some stir-fried Swiss chard, onions and tomatoes. The sage-chard mixture is served along with some brown arborio rice. It tastes like inside out grape-leaves.  

Get the rice going first. Then prep the swiss chard, onions, and tomatoes.  

You will need:
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped and separated
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • fresh black pepper 

For the rice:

  • 1 cup brown arborio rice (you can use white too)
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
  • juice of 1 lemon    

  1. Heat water until boiling and then add the arborio rice. Cook over medium-high heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the chard, cut up the onions, and leave the tomatoes whole.
  3. Heat butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. Once hot, fry sage leaves until fragrant or about 1 minute. Set the fried sage leaves aside.
  4. Add in chopped chard stems and diced onions to the same skillet. Cook 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chard and continue to cook another 8 minutes.
  6. Add in tomatoes, and turn down heat to low. Continue cooking another 8 minutes. Now focus on the rice.
  7. Place feta and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl.
  8. Once rice is cooked, add it into the mixing bowl and toss together. Season with pepper.
  9. Top the chard mixture with the fried sage leaves and serve alongside the rice.  

Notes: I didn't add salt because the feta is salty/brine-y enough. For the chard – Wash and dry the leaves. Separate the stems from the leaves. Chop the stems like you would chop celery. For the leaves – Place the leaves one on top of the other and then roll into a "burrito," and then slice across into 1/2-inch ribbons. This will give you nice chard ribbons.

Neeli notes that you can substitute goat cheese for the feta and regular rice for the brown arborio, if desired.

Thanks again to Neeli for sharing a lovely recipe! Readers, don't be shy about sharing your own favorite side dishes with me! See an earlier post to find out what I'm looking for, as well as how to contact me. I hope to hear from more of you!

Side dish Saturdays: Round II

With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon (gasp!), side dishes are poised to take the spotlight at many upcoming gatherings. As I did last year, I'd like to run a weekly feature called "Side dish Saturdays," but I need YOUR help!
If you have a favorite vegetarian side dish recipe (salad, rice, vegetables, dip, potatoes, etc.) you'd be willing to share, please send me an email! Make sure to list the ingredients, explain how to make the dish, and tell me a little bit about why you like it. Maybe you even have a memory related to that dish that you'd like to share! Please don't be shy! I'm certainly not a professional, so don't feel like you have to be one to participate. I'd like to gather as many reader contributions as possible. If you have a photo of the dish, please send that too, but don't worry if you don't have one.

I'm going to publish this feature once a week throughout November and December. I hope to hear from many of you in the coming weeks!

Side dish Saturdays: Jean's mushrooms (4 servings)

This simple recipe comes from my buddy Kelly's godmother, Jean. Kelly admits: "Honestly, though it is a 'side dish,' I could just eat a giant bowl of these alone and be content." Give them a try this week!

You will need:


  1. In a skillet, melt the butter on low heat.

  2. Add mushrooms; stir to coat.

  3. Sprinkle with dressing mix.

  4. Stir occasionally for about 45 minutes.

Remember, if you'd like to contribute a recipe to Side Dish Saturdays, send me an email!