Market Watch: Rainbow Chard

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, May 10, 2010

pasta with chard

My CSA box is erupting with gigantic bunches of this leafy green veggie. This variety of Swiss chard has fluffy, tender green leaves and edible stems bursting with color and flavor.

Chard is low in calories and packed with nutrients like potassium, iron and vitamins C and K. Use it anywhere you would used cooked spinach—the flavor is similar, only chard is slightly bitter (in a good way).  And don’t forget those beautiful stems, they just need a few extra minutes of cooking—add them to the pan or pot a few minutes ahead of the leaves.

My top 5 favorite things to do with Swiss chard.

  1. Sauté with olive oil, garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar
  2. Use sautéed leftovers (see #1) for a pizza topping — my hands-down favorite!
  3. Add to stir-fry
  4. Wilt into tomato sauce and serve over pasta
  5. Add to soup

Recipes to try:
Savory Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard and Potato Enchiladas
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese (pictured)

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Comments (18)

  1. Kat Glessing says:

    I have learned thru a nutritionist, MCT oil or Coconut Oil move thru the digestive system faster, aids in weight loss, and since is a medium chain triglyceride, moves out of your system faster than say Olive or Peanut I have been using it for about 2 mos now, my pre-diabetes is gone, as is about 25 lbs if not more.

  2. jay says:

    it is so sad there cannot be a definitive answer to these questions. I just cut back on fatty foods as much as possible and pray that whatever decisions i make are the best available at the time j

  3. Holly says:

    As a nutrition counselor I recommend using raw, organic virgin coconut oil because it helps the thyroid, can balance blood sugar, provides energy, easy to digest for many people, it's also anti viral/anti bacterial, and it's delicious!

  4. It is also great as a wrapping for Spring rolls!

  5. Alison says:

    You timing is perfect my Chard is exploding in my garden an I need to start using it up. Thanks!

  6. Amy says:

    Chopped Up chard in chicken soup is AWESOME!!! it's one of the few veggies that live past the frost if you grow it so it always makes it well into soup season! yum!!!

  7. Tim says:

    This is the easiest thing.. take chard and just clean, then place chopped or just whole pieces in a casserole (I have never bothered to tear it up). Take some heavy whipping cream (or heavy cream, or whipping cream), mozzarella (or jack) cheese, parmesan cheese, and salt/pepper (to your liking). You do not even have to mix it all up. Bake in the oven… PRESTO… you have an excellent side dish of chard (creamed spinach style). It tastes great. HINT: I usually add a little bit of chopped or minced garlic also.

  8. Char says:

    I love creamed swiss chard with bacon. When I have beets with the tops, I also add the beet leaves, cooking the beet leaves and swiss chard, then add them to the bacon cream sauce (brown bacon, discard extra grease, add flour, brown, add milk to make the sauce.) Serve as a side dish or my mother liked to put it on mashed potatoes. Great with breaded pork chops!

  9. Nancy says:

    That last recipe suggestion — spaghetti with chard — is awesome. It's one of the first ones I turn to when chard shows up in the CSA box! Also Rick Bayless has a chard taco recipe online that is to die for… At, I plan to blog both of them in the next few weeks!

  10. Cecelia says:

    Gina Neeley makes a great soup with swiss chard. It has ham. chickpeas, onions, and any other veggie you care to add. A bowl with some hot bread is fantastic. Get the recipe from

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