Swiss chard, also known as silverbeet, is a nutritious and delicious leafy green that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. While it may not be as well-known as other greens like spinach or kale, it’s just as versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. If you’re new to cooking with Swiss chard, you might be wondering where to start. That’s where this beginner’s guide comes in. In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks for cooking with Swiss chard, as well as some delicious recipes to try out. Whether you’re looking for a simple side dish or a hearty main course, we’ve got you covered. So grab a bunch of Swiss chard and let’s get cooking!
Nutritional benefits of eating Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a powerhouse of nutrition. One cup of cooked Swiss chard contains just 35 calories, but it provides 14 percent of your daily recommended intake of calcium, 44 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, and 18 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Swiss chard is also rich in vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
In addition to being a great source of vitamins and minerals, Swiss chard also contains antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. So not only is Swiss chard delicious, it’s also great for your health.
Growing Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a cool season crop that grows best in the spring and fall. It can be grown in containers or in the ground, and it’s fairly easy to grow. Swiss chard prefers well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter, and it needs regular watering to keep the soil moist.
To grow Swiss chard from seed, plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep in the soil and keep the soil moist until the seedlings emerge. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, thin them out so that they’re spaced about 6 inches apart. Swiss chard can be harvested when the leaves are about 6 to 8 inches long.
For more tips on growing swiss chard, visit BonniePlants.com.
How to select and store Swiss chard
When selecting Swiss chard, look for leaves that are bright green and crisp. Avoid leaves that are wilted or have brown spots. Swiss chard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. To store Swiss chard, wrap it loosely in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. Don’t wash Swiss chard until you’re ready to use it, as excess moisture can cause it to spoil more quickly.
Preparing Swiss chard for cooking
Before cooking with Swiss chard, it’s important to wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. To wash Swiss chard, fill a large bowl with cold water and submerge the leaves. Swirl the leaves around in the water to loosen any dirt or debris, then lift them out of the water and shake off any excess moisture.
Once the Swiss chard is clean, remove the stems by holding the stem in one hand and the leaf in the other, then pulling the leaf away from the stem. The stems can be tough and fibrous, so they’re best removed. The leaves can be chopped, sliced, or left whole depending on the recipe.
Cooking methods for Swiss chard
Swiss chard can be cooked in a variety of ways, including sautéing, steaming, roasting, and more. Here are some cooking methods to try:
- Sautéing: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and sauté for a minute, then add the Swiss chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Steaming: Fill a large pot with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil. Add the Swiss chard leaves to a steamer basket and place it over the pot. Cover and steam for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the Swiss chard is tender.
- Roasting: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the Swiss chard leaves with a tablespoon of olive oil and spread them out on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the leaves are crispy.
Swiss chard can also be added to soups, stews, and casseroles for added nutrition and flavor.
Delicious Swiss chard recipes
Now that you know how to cook Swiss chard, it’s time to try some delicious recipes. Here are a few recipes for cooking with Swiss chard to get you started:
Sauteed Swiss chard
This simple recipe comes from LoveandLemons.com. This side dish calls for minimal ingredients which you probably have on hand. This is one of my favorite food bloggers and authors.
Rainbow chard and orzo bowls
This is another simple recipe from LoveandLemons.com. This is a main dish featuring Swiss chard and orzo with options for making it vegan or gluten-free. I love that about this food blogger. She provides options for different food requirements.
White Bean & Swiss chard soup
This easy soup recipe comes from another of my favorite food bloggers and authors, ItDoesn’tTasteLikeChicken.com. This recipe calls for Kale but she notes that you can easily sub in Swiss chard instead.
Tips for pairing Swiss chard with other ingredients
Swiss chard pairs well with a variety of flavors, including garlic, lemon, and cheese. It can also be paired with other vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms. When pairing Swiss chard with other ingredients, think about the flavors and textures that will complement each other. For example, Swiss chard’s slightly bitter flavor can be balanced out with sweet ingredients like raisins or honey. Here are more suggestions for cooking with Swiss chard and what goes well with it.
Frequently asked questions about cooking with Swiss chard
Can Swiss chard be eaten raw?
Yes, Swiss chard can be eaten raw. You can even eat Swiss chard stems raw. However, it’s best to remove the stems and chop the leaves into small pieces before adding them to salads or other raw dishes.
Can Swiss chard be substituted for other greens?
Yes, Swiss chard can be substituted for spinach or kale in most recipes. However, keep in mind that Swiss chard has a slightly stronger flavor, so you may need to adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Conclusion and final thoughts on cooking with Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a nutritious and delicious leafy green that’s easy to cook with. Whether you’re sautéing, steaming, or roasting it, Swiss chard is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a bunch and give cooking with Swiss chard a try. You might just be surprised at how delicious it can be!
Get more tips and suggestions for transitioning to plant-based eating and a list of my favorite cookbooks and food bloggers.
This blog post was written with the help of Writesonic AI.