Swiss chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile with a flavor that is bitter, pungent, and slightly salty. These plants are native along the coasts of the Mediterranean in Europe, northern Africa, and southern Asia. The flowers are hermaphroditic and wind pollinated which explains many of the random chard plants we have growing amongst our flower beds and sporadically in the fields here on the farm.
Swiss chard is one of the world's most nutritious cultivars with exceptional amounts of vitamin C, E, and K, and loaded with fiber, carotene, potassium, and iron.
Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sauteed; their bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor which is more delicate than that of cooked spinach.
Some ways to use Swiss chard: toss penne pasta with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cooked Swiss chard. Add zest to omelets and frittatas by adding some boiled Swiss chard. Use chard in place of or in addition to spinach when preparing vegetarian lasagna.
Lay your bunch on a cutting board. Slice the stems for use 1/4" then thinkly skice the greens.
Do not wash Swiss chard before storing as the exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place chard in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the chard, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days. If you have large batches of chard, you can blanch the leaves and then freeze them.
April - June
Swiss Chard & Potatoes
1 bunch red or green Swiss chard, (chopped fine and use the ribs)
Butter a 9x13 pan and cover bottom with 1/2 chard mix. Then layer with 1/2 potatoes and 1/2 cheese.