Swiss Chard, Garlic Scape & Turmeric Curry

By Michael Joyce

This curry comes together super quick with the help from some key pantry staples.  Namely, coconut milk & chickpeas.    Paired with tender, late spring leafy greens (spinach would work, too) and steamed brown rice, you have a deeply satisfying plant-forward meal.

Garlic scapes are a special spring ingredient with a very small window of harvest.  With a mild garlic flavor, don’t be afraid to use more than you would use with a bulb of mature, dry garlic.   Turmeric is another powerful pantry staple. Not only does it  bring loads of flavor, aroma, & color to the curry, but for those interested in the healing power of food, turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties leading many to call it a superfood. 

 Serves 2-3 people.  Enjoy!



1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 bunch scallions

4-6 each garlic scapes

1 T ginger, grated

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon turmeric, ground

¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground

13 ounces (1 can) coconut milk

16 ounces (1 can) chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 bunch swiss chard

soy sauce

fish sauce (optional)

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Prep your veg.  Thinly slice the scallions, keeping the greens and whites separate. Thinly slice the garlic scapes into small rounds. Strip chard greens from their stem and reserve for another use (they are wonderful fermented).  Cut into large squarish pieces.  Wash chard greens.  
  2. Heat a medium size, heavy-bottom pot on a med-high heat. Melt your coconut oil.
  3. To the pot, add your sliced scallion whites and garlic scapes.  Season with a pinch of kosher salt.  Saute the aromatics until softened, about 5 minutes.  
  4. Next, add in your spices…chile flakes, turmeric and black pepper.   Cook for another 2-3 minutes to toast the spices until they are aromatic.
  5. Add coconut milk, grated ginger, a couple of pinches of salt  and the rinsed chickpeas.  Stir.  Bring curry to boil and then turn heat down.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add swiss chard to the pot and stir well.  Cook chard until wilted and tender.  About 8-10 more minutes.  
  7. Once chard is cooked, season with soy and fish sauce (if you like but not necessary).
  8. Serve with brown rice covered with cilantro and sesame seeds.  


Michael Joyce is a chef in the Lehigh Valley and and local food advocate. Spending his career in kitchens devoted to seasonality and sustainability such as Blue Hill, Barbuzzo, and is currently at Bolete Restaurant. He believes that cooking through the seasons and as close to the source as possible, is not only satisfying and inspiring, but critical to the health of our local communities.