What Do I Do with Swiss Chard?



Photo by: Danita Delimont ©This content is subject to copyright.

Danita Delimont, This content is subject to copyright.

Swiss chard (also known simply as chard) is a leafy green vegetable that is related to beets and spinach. It is rich in vitamins A, C and especially K, and it is also a good source of magnesium, iron and potassium. Chard can be steamed or sauteed, and it’s great in soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas and quiches. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads.

Chard always has green leaves, but the stalks can be a variety of colors. Rainbow chard is an assortment of different varieties, with stalks of red, pink, orange, yellow and white. The colors will fade somewhat in the cooking process, but boy are they pretty to look at when uncooked! Chard stems take a little longer to cook than the leaves, but the whole plant is edible and delicious. It’s a little bit sweet in the stems (which have a slight celery-like flavor) and pleasantly bitter in the leaves. Some people prefer to remove the stems from the leaves and cook them separately. If the stems are thin and tender, this step can be skipped.

Chard appears frequently in Mediterranean cooking, as well as American, though it is used (sometimes called by different names) in cuisines ranging from Egyptian to Turkish. It’s not Swiss — there is no clear reason why it got attached to that country.

When choosing chard, look for stems that are firm and brightly colored and leaves that are glossy and smooth without any brown or yellow spots. Store chard wrapped in slightly damp paper towels and tucked into an open plastic bag; it will last for up to three days.

Photo courtesy iStock

Photo by: David Lang ©David Lang

David Lang, David Lang


Swiss Chard Pesto with Almonds and Pecorino (See how it's made in a clip from The Kitchen below)

White Bean Chard Soup from Food Network Magazine

Swiss Chard Frittata

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Seared Steak with Chard Salad from Food Network Magazine

Swiss Chard Pesto with Almonds 03:36

Geoffrey Zakarian puts his own spin on pesto with Swiss chard and almonds.

Next Up

In Season: Swiss Chard

This leafy green is in season and ready to bring nutritional goodness to your table.

When I Think of Pride, I Think of Brunch

Here's why we wine and dine with our chosen family — and ten tips for throwing the perfect brunch at home.

When I Want to Make Dinner Easier, I Think "Unstuffed"

From stuffed cabbage to stuffed grape leaves, to stuffed eggplant and especially stuffed peppers, many cuisines have unique stuffed vegetable dishes, and Middle Eastern cuisine is no exception. But here’s how to get all that comforting flavor without the work of all that stuffing — and my Seven-Spice Unstuffed Peppers are a great place to start.

I Thought I Knew How to Make the Creamiest Risotto — Until I Learned This Easy Trick

Scott Conant achieves the perfect texture by adding one, simple ingredient.

I Hated Milk Until I Tried This Hack from Katie Lee

Berry milk has totally changed my life.

I Hated Pumpkin Pie Until I Tried This Brand-New Recipe

Trust me — this is the one pie you definitely want to bake for Thanksgiving.

Why I Actually Hate Cheese

One Food Network Staffer and real-life cheese hater gets real.