I am lucky. I was born to parents who were brought up on leafy greens, namely collards, mustard and turnip greens. I never had to “learn to like” them like so many people I know. The more bitter, the better! But that’s not the case for most folks. If it’s not lettuce or spinach, it’s out of the question! If this describes you and you’re spent on spinach, take heed. I’ve got an idea I think you’ll like. It’s the often overlooked Swiss chard.
Mild, tender and really yummy, Swiss chard is similar to spinach when it comes to taste and ease of preparation, and it’s full of good nutrition. Adding Swiss chard to your menu gives you a healthy and satisfying serving of potassium, iron and antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which helps support healthy cells and protect against free radical damage.
When purchasing Swiss chard, you may find a few varieties: red, green and rainbow (multi colored). All are delicious and can be prepared the same way. Always start by washing the leaves and stalks under running water. Remove the stalks and cut off the tough bottom ends before chopping into bite-size pieces. Slice or chop the leaves and unless your recipe calls for a different approach, begin cooking by sautéing, braising or steaming the chopped stalks first for about 5 minutes; then add the chopped leaves, which will take just a few minutes to cook.
Here are some favorite ways to savor Swiss chard:
Be sure to look for beautiful, bright, firm leaves with no wilting, browning or decaying. Store your Swiss chard in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Try to use it within a few days for best results.
Have you checked out Swiss chard? Do you have a favorite recipe? Let me know!