In this week’s Torah portion, we read the story of Balaam, who is asked by Balak to curse the Israelis. Despite his intentions to vilify them, Balaam’s words become blessings. Balaam’s story makes clear that G‑d gave us free will and we have the choice to give blessings or curses in the world.

The recipe that I created plays off the themes of blessings versus curses and how one sees in the world. The primary ingredient is Swiss chard. It’s sprinkled with chili flakes, representing curses. This flavor is overwhelmed, though, by the sweetness of date syrup and tahini, symbolic of blessings. The slivered almonds and raisins in the dish look like eyes, representative of how we act upon what we see in the world.

This Swiss chard recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and a hint of spice. The raisins and date honey paired with the red pepper flakes or, for more spice, schug, bring out the delicious flavor of the Swiss chard.


  • 1 large bunch of Swiss chard, washed and chopped (including stalks)
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes or schug
  • 2 teaspoons date syrup
  • 3-5 tablespoons tahini
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash Swiss chard leaves and stalks. Finely chop onion and stalks. Chop Swiss chard leaves.
  2. Over low heat, add olive oil, onions and Swiss chard stalks. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook until lightly wilted, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add almonds and raisins and continue to cook for another few minutes. Add red pepper flakes, date syrup, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Add tahini. The amount will vary based upon how much of the chili pepper taste you’d like to have in the dish. Mix well and cook for another minute.
  5. Serve warm.

This article originally appeared on Joy of Kosher.