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Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

You may not be too familiar with this green (and colorful) veggie, but its vitamin-packed leaves and crisp flavor are bound to make an impression on you.

Nutritional Highlights

  • Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Just a half-cup of this tasty leaf cooked gives you 25 percent of your vitamin C for the day and more than 100 percent of your vitamin A. These nutrients help protect cells from oxidative damage and promote healthy eyes.
  • Need some vitamin K? About 1/2 cup of this cooked vegetable, delivers about 345 percent of your daily value! Vitamin K is vital for your blood's ability to clot properly.

History

Also known simply as chard or silverbeet, this vegetable was first grown in Sicily. So why isn't is called Italian chard? Evidently, someone decided it would be funny to pin it with its Swiss alias because a botanist from Switzerland gave it its scientific name. Whatever you call it, this veggie may be a rising star in all sorts of American recipes.

Varieties

Swiss chard comes in two main types: the more common red-and-green variety, and a less popular all-green version. It may also be grown in multi-colored batches, with stems and veins that are red, purple, orange, yellow or white!

When is Swiss Chard in Season?

The peak growing time for Swiss chard is in the spring and summer.

how to choose swiss chard

It's pretty easy to spot Swiss chard from across the produce section. This vegetable occasionally goes by the nickname "bright lights," and for good reason: Its multi-hued color scheme practically makes it stand out in neon lights. To choose fresh Swiss chard, pick a bundle that has verdant leaves and brightly colored stems and veins. Skip bunches that have wilted leaves or signs of mold. A good batch of chard will have stems that are about as firm as fresh celery.

how to store swiss chard

Wrap it in plastic, pop it in your fridge's vegetable drawer and you're all set. Swiss chard will keep for about two weeks. If it begins to wilt, you can perk it back up by soaking it in ice water with a spoonful of vinegar just before using it.

How to Cook with Swiss Chard

It's amazing that Swiss chard isn't more popular, given how many uses you can put it to in main dishes, salads and sides. Swiss chard's crisp leaves, crunchy stems and sweetish and slightly bitter flavor make it perfect for recipes of every stripe. Young chard can be eaten raw in a fresh tossed salad. However, mature chard is more like collard greens and is often cooked. You can steam it (a la spinach) or, for a more exotic twist, chop its leaves into thin ribbons, slice its stems into small crescents and sauté the lot with garlic and olive oil.

Key Measurements

Most Swiss chard will be measured in either individual leaves or whole cups (shredded or diced).

Substitutions

As some of the more fibrous roughage out there, Swiss chard can be replaced by leafy greens like kale, spinach or collard greens.

Swiss Chard in Recipes

With its mild flavor and snappy texture, Swiss chard adds whole new dimensions to salads, stir fries, burgers and leafy dishes.

These colorful Veggie Patties make a mouth-watering side dish. Pan fry them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve crispy and hot with some cool yogurt for dipping.

This tasty Pasta e Fagiole uses chopped Swiss chard, with tomatoes and beans for a soup bowl brimming with color.

In this Jicama-Spinach Salad, you can replace spinach with Swiss chard or kale for a deeper taste and livelier crunch.

And instead of collard greens, use chard in these Hot and Spicy Greens as a way to boost the vitamin content and flavor in one fell swoop!

Related Recipes

Reviews & Comments

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