a cat, her dough, and a pile of greens.

sauteed rainbow chard | theclevercarrot.com


My feline friend has a new habit: he likes to GNAW on our TV cables with his razor sharp fangs, until I BOLT out of bed to release his Majesty into the early morning wilderness (a.k.a my hood). I think he has a new lady friend…

It sounds like an obnoxious human chewing with their mouth open.

And once I’m up, I’m up.

homemade sourdough bread | theclevercarrot.com

Also up: my sourdough starter.

If you hang around this space, you know that I’m a total bread nerd.

If you’re new to this space (hello and welcome!) I bake bread.

Sourdough is all about timing. Some days your starter will take forever to bubble, and on other days it’s raging.  On my way back from honoring his Majesty’s request, I poked my head into the kitchen and was beckoned by my activated starter. It was all puffed and bubbly, practically spilling over onto the counter.

Time to make the dough.

And in the morning, I baked this loaf…

homemade sourdough bread | theclevercarrot.com

And while waiting for it to cool down…

I ran out to pick up my CSA veggies from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm.

sauteed rainbow chard | theclevercarrot.comsauteed rainbow chard | theclevercarrot.com

We received a huge bunch of rainbow swiss chard, baby arugula, different kinds of lettuce and strawberries. Leafy swiss chard takes up too much room in my fridge and has a tendency to wilt quickly, so I decided to use that first.

I made sautéed rainbow chard with lemon, garlic and olive oil.

The colorful stems are perfectly edible and what I do, is sauté them first while I shred the greens. They take longer to cook. Then, I add the leaves, cover and cook/braise/whatever for about 5 minutes or so until tender. I drizzle with lots of olive oil, lemon and parmesan cheese to finish.

Chunks of sourdough are used to mop up the juice.

It’s non-negotiable.

sauteed rainbow chard | theclevercarrot.comsauteed rainbow chard | theclevercarrot.com

So, thank you (cat) for dragging my sleep-deprived you-know-what out of bed… and thank you (sourdough starter) for actually enabling my sorry you-know-what… and finally, to you (rainbow chard) for being a mighty fine accomplice.

Because I can live on simple food like this.

What have you been cooking lately? Have any annoying pets? xo

PS- Here is the recipe for sourdough, if you’re interested.

simple sautéed rainbow chard with sourdough
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems reserved
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
  • coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • wedge of parmesan cheese for grating
  • Thick slices of sourdough bread
  1. Grab a large 12-inch skillet and warm the olive oil over low heat.
  2. Rinse the swiss chard under cold water to remove any dirt and shake dry; it's OK if the leaves are a little wet. They will 'steam' once cooked. Dice the colorful stems into ½-pieces.
  3. Toss the stems into the pan and sauté until crisp tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, thinly slice or shred the swiss chard leaves.
  5. Add the sliced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Don't burn the garlic; it will taste bitter.
  6. Add the swiss chard, in one big pile, using tongs to toss and turn the leaves as you go. Place the lid on top and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Check on it after a couple of minutes or so to see how it's doing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove the lid and crank up the heat. If there is any residual liquid in the pan, it will begin to evaporate.
  8. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and drizzle with extra olive oil. Don't skimp.
  9. Pile the greens into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese and extra lemon on the side. Serve with bread.



  1. Lisa says

    I had intended to use my swiss chard similarly but I forgot I had it and now I’m sure its a puddle in a bag in the refrigerator. I do want that bread right now. I have been unsuccessful with sourdough starter in the past but you’re making me want to try it again.

    • Emilie says

      Totally been there. That’s why I decided to use my swiss chard first- I knew it was going to be one of the first ones to go! Why does it wilt so quickly? Now that I think of it, I have a great recipe that uses up a lot of swiss chard… it’s similar to a fritter. Maybe I will post that in the next couple of weeks or so.

      Thanks for stopping by Lisa, and I hope you were still able to enjoy your chard!

  2. Jacqueline Spark says

    Sounds delicious and so pretty with the Rainbow Chard, not sure I’ve seen that before. I can actually smell this cooking as it did when my Italian grandmother would fix this . Sounds delicious with the bread .. Also as a sandwich. Thanks for the inspiration for my next market visit!

    • Emilie says

      Welcome Jacqueline! Yes, it seems as though the red and white chards are the easiest to find at the grocery store. Although, if you have a farmers market nearby I’m sure you will be able to spot some rainbow chard- t’is the season! Glad to hear this recipe brought you back to your grandmother’s kitchen. I know that feeling all too well :) xo

    • Emilie says

      And I will be dreaming about your cookbook and what I’m going to bake first… so happy that I’ll have it before the holidays ;)

  3. says

    Have I ever told you how much I love the way you curl your paper in photos? ~ those perfect, seemingly effortless touches never fail to delight my eye ❤️. I am convinced that cats are the smartest animals inhabiting the planet. They know exactly how to mobilize humans to achieve their desired ends — they go after the non-negotiables and win every.time. Rainbow chard has got to be one of the greatest natural wonders – those colours! Beautiful Emilie.

    • Emilie says

      No, but you can tell me again ;) You probably won’t believe me, but that curl is organic! I think I just pushed the parchment paper up against the mint glass and that was the end result. But thank you sweet Kelly, you always make me smile.

      Yes, cats rule the world. They really do. And I’m such a sucker for them!

  4. Patti says

    Everything you post makes me salivate. I am going to run to the farmer’s market, right now, to buy rainbow chard and some fresh bread. I wish I could make my own bread. A few more of your perfectly photographed loaves and I might try! Have a good week.

  5. says

    i wish i was as good as you! my cat woke me up at 5:30 this morning but i just went back to bed and slept through two of my alarms. oops! i still need to try that sourdough…

    • Emilie says

      Oh see, my cat will actually rip our TV out of the wall if I dare to ignore him. You’re one of the lucky ones ;)

    • Emilie says

      Hello Christine! Thank you so much. I love an easy sauté too, especially when I have lots of greens that I don’t know what to do with. They wilt down so quickly. Just a little garlic, lemon and olive oil and I’m good to go. :)

  6. says

    Bread and greens. That’s all one really needs to eat isn’t it? Well, maybe olive oil. LOL! But seriously, if it weren’t for having to cook for the kids, my husband and I could survive on it and be very, very happy! As for the annoying pet problems… why yes I have those too! I’ve got two King Charles Spaniels who’ve slept in our bedroom since they were puppies. BUT the thing is…they snore AND lick themselves to death in the middle of the night! UGH! I finally decided after five years and many nights of interrupted sleep that it was time to kick them out into another room! haha! Don’t know why I waited so long! So much more peaceful now. : )

    • Emilie says

      Yes, absolutely. Everything you just said- bread, greens, olive oil… and wine! You can’t forget that ;)

      OMG- and your dogs. I died laughing. Snoring? It’s like having another kid in your bed ;)

  7. says

    The recipe seems simple, and it’s stunning!!! I’ve been wanting to make sourdough for awhile, so I think I’m finally going to give it a try. I can’t wait to try it with this swiss chard, it looks wonderful!

  8. says

    I’ve never knowingly eaten chard and definitely haven’t cooked it. I imagine it tastes like spinach or kale. How beautiful is it though and I bet you get a huge amount of satisfaction from sitting down and eating that bowl with your bread in the sunlight.

  9. says

    Oh Em, being woken up pre-maturely, even if one is grateful for it, can be a pain. We dealt with this for years with our late Claire Cat. Now we wish we heard her every night. Feline intelligence is a thing of beauty, even if it’s sometimes annoying! But yes, once your up, your up. I’m with ya!

    Sourdough…. yes! My starter is going, and I’ve baked, but it’s back in the fridge, resting. I need to pick up some bread flour and I’ll be set again! Your loaf is stunning… your score always just beautiful and as a mop, perfection. Chard is always in my fridge during late Spring and throughout Summer. It’s in my smoothie every morning. I adore it’s mild flavor and vibrant green. I often forget how delicious it is with just a bit of cooking. It IS a satisfying veggie. Thank you, Emilie, for making my day brighter and inspiring me! xx Have a beautiful rest of your week!

    • Emilie says

      This is so very true. What seems like an annoyance is only trivial in the grand scheme of things, especially when they’re no longer with us :( Ugh. I hope you guys are holding up ok.

      Bread as a mop? Ha ha… love it. My sentiments exactly! PS- I’ll have to try some swiss chard in my smoothies next time. I bet I could get the kids to try some too- they like green drinks with apple. Thanks for the tip, Traci! xo

  10. vivian says

    I will definitely be making myself a big batch of chard and toasted sourdough. Maybe even push it over the top with a fried egg topping! Thanks for the inspiration. As for the cat issue, we have had so many cat waker-uppers over the years, that it’s hard to keep track. The one that probably sticks in my mind the most, though, is the kitty who used to lick my eyelids as soon as the sun came up. Pretty hard to ignore.

    • Emilie says

      Welcome Vivian! I do hope you give it a try. The dish is very simple, but satisfying in flavor. I ove the sound of a fried egg on top. Yum.

      And your cat?! Oh, my goodness- any creature that licks your eyelids to get you out of bed is one smart feline.

  11. says

    Perfect! I made them last summer and topped them with spiced seeds but parmesan sounds gorgeous. I have a sourdough starter that I feed all the time, I really need to start making proper bread with it!

    • Emilie says

      Ooo! That spiced seeds sounds intriguing. Perfect for crunch? I bet there was an egg involved too… ;)

  12. says

    I just got home from a weekend away and my dog has been the cutest snuggle-pot ever! But she always tries to get second dinner out of us by pretending to not have been given first dinner :)

  13. says

    That is some seriously gorgeous color. I feel like everything we’ve been eating lately has been beige – our house is undergoing renovations and everyone’s a bit restless (souschef cat, included). looking forward to this kind of stuff soon!

  14. says

    My cat wakes me up at the crack of dawn by purring like a freight train right next to my head. Haha! I love swiss chard and am always looking for simple ways to prepare it. Such a colorful veggie!

    • Emilie says

      Isn’t swiss chard fun and colorful? I just received another bunch this week… what to do, what to do…

      PS- purring like a freight train, too funny ;) xoxo

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