Chard – Red, Green, Rainbow

This delicious green grows in a gorgeous rainbow of colors!

Despite its name, Swiss chard is native to the Mediterranean region. Related to the beet root, the common variety of chard has white stalks, although rainbow chard, with brightly colored stalks of red, orange, and yellow, is also popular. Many people eat only the leaves of the plant, but the stalks are edible and can be steamed or blanched to include with any dish. A simple way to cook chard is to slice the leaves and boil them for five minutes, or until tender, and drain extremely well before eating. Chard also makes an excellent filler for foods like raviolis, quiches, and casseroles, or, alternatively, whole chard leaves can be blanched and used as wraps for other fillings. Sautéed in olive oil, eaten fresh in a salad, or included in a soup, chard is a versatile green that particularly complements Mediterranean flavors like garlic, lemon, olive, or cured meats. To top it off, chard is full of healthy nutrients like folate, vitamins A, K and C, magnesium, potassium, iron, and fiber.

Storage

Choose chard with shiny, firm leaves (no wilting or yellowed leaves) and crisp, firm stalks. Store in a perforated plastic bag or wrapped in a damp paper towel in a bag in the crisper for up to 3 days. Wash well to clean off any dirt and don’t store too long, as chard is easily bruised.