Also indexed as: Rainbow Chard
Preparation, uses, and tips
Chard’s leaves can be prepared like spinach, and its stalks like asparagus. In fact, its leaves serve as a good
substitute for spinach in most recipes, but they will need to be cooked slightly longer.
Chard may be steamed, sautéed, or braised, and it can be added to soups, stews, and
casseroles. The leaves and stems may be cooked and served together, or prepared separately as
two different vegetables. The Italians make an
egg frittata with chard.
For salads and sandwiches, it’s best to use young, tender leaves. For a simple side
vegetable, leaves of medium size can be quickly sautéed—the stalks can be prepared
this way, too. Older leaves and stalks are best steamed, boiled, or added to soups, as the
stems require a longer cooking time to become tender than the leaves do.
Like other leafy vegetables, chard needs to be thoroughly washed before cooking since sand
and other debris tend to nestle in its leaves. Instead of using a colander and running water
over the leaves, the best way to remove debris from leafy greens is to dunk and soak them in
plenty of water. Place the leaves in a large bowl, pot, or sink filled with cold water.
Agitate the leaves one by one, then remove individual leaves by hand and place them in another
container. Pour out the water and repeat the procedure until the water is free of debris. If
you will be using the greens in a salad, dry them in a spinner.
To sauté chard, you will need: 2 pounds (0.90kg) of chard, cleaned and coarsely
chopped; 3 tablespoons (45ml) of olive oil; 2
cloves of garlic, minced; salt and freshly
ground pepper to taste; and fresh lemon juice,
if desired. After washing, remove the stems and chop the chard into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces and
set aside. Then, stack the washed leaves and roll them into a long scroll. Using a sharp
knife, cut the scroll in quarters. Heat a skillet or heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat,
add the olive oil and chopped stems and
sauté for five minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 15 seconds. Next,
add the wet chard, one handful at a time, stirring after each addition. After all the leaves
have been added, immediately cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the leaves to cook
for about five minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking over high heat until all the
liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve
immediately with a splash of fresh lemon juice, if desired. Serves four.
Rhubarb chard and ruby chard are among the most popular varieties. Rhubarb chard has dark
green leaves and reddish stalks, whereas ruby chard has a bright red stalk and deep red leaves
tinged with green. The flavor of the two does not differ much. Some specialty markets carry
rainbow chard. It features red, white, and gold stems that contrast beautifully with its
glossy green leaves. This variety makes an attractive addition to salads. Be sure the stalks
are tender and finely sliced.
Chard, Swiss (cooked, boiled, drained, chopped),
1 cup (175g)
Total Fat: 0.14g
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value, based upon United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. Foods that are a “good source” of a
particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the USDA Recommended Daily Value.
Nutritional information and daily nutritional guidelines may vary in different countries.
Please consult the appropriate organization in your country for specific nutritional values
and the recommended daily guidelines.