UCAN Vegetable Spotlight | Presenting: Swiss Chard


by Stephanie Forbes

 What’s a pirate’s favorite vegetable?


Swiss Chaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrd, matey

I crack myself up sometimes. Ok, no more jokes. Have you ever heard of Swiss Chard? It is a green leafy vegetable. The leaf stalks are large and often prepared separately from the leaf blade; the Cicla-Group is the leafy spinach beet.

What does Swiss Chard taste like? Well, it is sort of like a tamed down blend of beetroots, sweet earthiness and the bitter leaning taste of spinach. Don’t let the sound of the taste turn you away. It is rather good when cooked correctly. Swiss Chard is a wonderful source of vitamins K, A and C as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. Here is a fun fact for you…Swiss chard plants can grow up to 28 inches high. They are very pretty in a garden. See photo above.

Now we have all of the facts out of the way I am sure you want to know how to cook it. There are many ways to cook Swiss Chard. You can saute them, make a salad, bake, cream, create frittatas, and make soup. Today, we will check out the following Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard recipe:


  • 2 large bunches Siwss chard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Pinch each dry thyme and nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, optional


Chop and clean Swiss Chard: Stack several pieces of Swiss chard on the work surface. Remove stems and set aside. Roughly cut leaves into pieces about 2-inch square. Repeat with the remaining swiss chard. Transfer the chopped leaves to a salad spinner filled with water. Drain, repeat washing if necessary, and spin dry. Rinse and chop the Swiss chard stems (about the same size as the diced onion.)

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add chopped chard stems, garlic, onion, salt, thyme, nutmeg and pepper and cook, stirring often until the onions are starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chopped cleaned Swiss chard leaves, 2 tablespoons water and cover. Let wilt, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the Swiss chard is completely wilted and softened, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar if using. Serve hot.

Urban Community AgriNomics 


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