Chard comes in many varieties, but we grow Swiss chard in our garden so this page will focus on that type.
Chard is a green leafy vegetable that grows quickly to maturity. By harvesting the outer leaves and leaving the small central leaf bundle, main stalk, and roots intact, chard may be harvested continuously throughout the growing season.
Young and tender chard leaves may be used raw in salads. More mature leaves may have a bit of bitterness to them, which cooking will remove. Cooked chard has a sweet taste and may be used in many dishes in place of spinach. The leaves and stalks are edible, although the older stalks and leaves may have a somewhat bitter taste. Cooking chard removes the bitterness. Chard may be stir-fried steamed, boiled, roasted, pickled, or included in soups and other one-dish meals.
Preparing Fresh Chard
Wash the chard, being sure to get inside the leaf fold and stem to remove all grit and contaminants. Shake or pat dry.
Using a sharp knife or tearing carefully, remove the tough stem and any large ribs. Small stalks and ribs may be left attached to the leaf.
Roll the leaves into a long tube.
Slice across the leaf bundle to make strips.
Fluff the strips into a loose bunch and use in your favorite recipe!
Favorite Recipes Using Chard
Storing Fresh Chard
You will need:
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a full rolling boil.
Place chard strips into a strainer that will fit into the pot and completely submerse the chard.
Boil chard for 2 minutes.
Remove chard from boiling water and plunge into ice-cold water for 1 minute to stop the cooking.
Remove chard from cold water and allow most of the water to drip out.
Seal into air-tight freezer containers.
Chard will last up to one year properly sealed and frozen.
Cooking Chard Basics
Chard Nutritional Values
Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, K and C, with a 175 g serving containing 214%, 716%, and 53%, respectively, of the recommended daily value. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein.
Swiss chard is a nutritional powerhouse -- an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber.