A hearty green related to the garden beet. It has shiny green leaves with stems that may be red, yellow, or orange. Young leaves may be used in salad, while more mature leaves are generally sautéed or cooked.

Chard contains no oxalic acid, which tends to bind minerals during digestion and make them unavailable. These greens are packed with vitamins A, E, C, iron, and calcium.


Other names: Crab Beet, Seakale Beet, Mangold, Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, Swiss Chard, Spinach Beet
Translations: Mangolds, Σέσκουλα, Paprastieji, الشوندرة, Мангольд, Bettes, チャード, Blitva, Mangold, Bietola, Блитва, Blitve, Acelga, Acelga, 查德, Мангольд, Bleda, Чард

Physical Description

Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow and red depending on the cultivar.

It is a dark leaf green similar to beet greens and spinach.

Colors: green leaves with white, yellow or red stems

Tasting Notes

Flavors: bitter, salty
Mouthfeel: Crisp, Earthy, Crunchy
Food complements: Raisins, Pine nuts, Garlic, Apples, Tomatoes, Fish, Lemon
Wine complements: Red wine, Dry white wine, Port
Beverage complements: Green tea, Apple juice
Substitutes: Spinach, Endive, Collards

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: june, july, august
Choosing: The red has red stems and dark green leaves with red veins. The green has lighter green leaves with white stalks. The red variety has a stronger flavor
Buying: The two main types found in most supermarkets are the red chard and the green.Avoid specimens with cracked or dry stems, or leaves with discolorations and/or moist, wilted spots.
Procuring: Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender or after maturity when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems. Chard is extremely perishable

Preparation and Use

Stuff the leaves into the dish whole - don't worry, it will cook down quickly.
Microwave in corningware with lid 4 minutes, fluff with tongs so that natural moisture is distributed. Micro again for 1:00 minute longer and leave lid on. Drain just before plating.You can prepare this 15 minutes before sitting down to eat. The time that it sits after nuking, it continues to steam. For goodnes sakes, don't boil it, you'll lose all the vitamins!

Cleaning: To clean chard, submerge it repeatedly in a large bowl of water until the water runs clear. To remove the stem, cut along each side of it toward the tip of the leaf until the stem thins out.

Conserving and Storing

Chard is highly perishable so endeavor to use it as soon as possible. You can store it in a plastic bag for up to three days in your fridge.

You can wrap chard in damp towel and keep in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator.

Chard is best used fresh but will keep for 2-4 days if kept moist and refrigerated.

Chard freezes well. Blanch chopped leaves for 3 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain, and place in airtight container or zip-lock bag. Freeze.


The word Swiss was used to distinguish chard from French spinach varieties by 19th century seed catalog publishers. The chard is very popular among Mediterranean cooks. The first varieties have been traced back to Sicily.

History: Chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla), also known by the common names Swiss Chard[1], Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, Spinach Beet, Crab Beet, Seakale Beet and Mangold, is a leafy vegetable, and is one of the cultivated descendants of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima. Although the leaves are eaten, it is in the same species as beetroot (garden beet) which is usually grown primarily for its edible roots.[2]



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