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Cooking Swiss Chard

As you previously read, we were at the farmers market last weekend and decided to buy Swiss Chard.  Chard isn’t something I’ve had much but the few times I have, it’s appealed to me. I’m not sure why. It’s wilty and not the most appealing looking by the time you get to eat it and I never had it at home. In fact, I’m sure it never have made it to our dinner table.

chard at the farmers market

I can just hear my Dad (was a farmer) say “It’s a weed that grows in the pasture and the cows won’t even eat it.”  Word for word, I can just hear it.

I am trying (and forcing my guys to) different greens though, and we love spinach. Collard greens – not so much. Anyway, since I’m a very visual person, it is probably the beautiful colors of the stems that appeal to me. Well, I can’t say this is my most favorite thing I’ve ever eaten, but we tried it and we’ll eat it again. Actually Damon really likes this type of thing.

Cooking Swiss Chard

It is healthy, it’s interesting and it’s different. Not that I’m an expert cook or anything, but I find this a beneficial way to learn about it so I’ll share my experience.

From Wikipedia:

Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla),[1] is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. While the leaves are always green, chard stalks vary in color. [3]Chard has been bred to have highly nutritious leaves at the expense of the root (which is not as nutritious as the leaves). [4] Chard is, in fact, considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables available and a valuable addition to a healthy diet (not unlike other green leafy vegetables). [5] Chard has been around for centuries, however because of its similarity to beets is difficult to determine the exact evolution of the different varieties of chard. [6]

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.

This person at Pen & Fork calls it:  “spinach on steroids.”

Cooking Swiss Chard

After washing, separate the stems and leaves. Chop the stems and cook them first since they are harder. Before adding the leaves, spin them in the salad spinner.

Cooking Swiss ChardCooking Swiss ChardCooking Swiss Chard

Sautéed Swiss Chard |Food Network


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds Swiss chard
  • 4 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice


Rinse chard; separate stems from leaves. Cut stems into 2-inch pieces; cut leaves crosswise into 1-inch strips. To a saucepan add 2 teaspoons melted butter. Add stems to pan; sauté about 5 minutes. Add leaves; cook another 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 teaspoons butter and pepper. Mound in center of serving plate and drizzle with vinegar or lemon juice.

Cooking Swiss ChardCooking Swiss Chard

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese |All Recipes

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste (optional)
  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.


The first time I made it, I used a combination of the two recipes above. We skipped the parmesan and added bacon. While the flavor was good,  I felt it was overcooked & and used too much oil.Cooking Swiss Chard

The next time I made it, I put some lemon juice on it. You can also use vinegar.

I prefer it like this – not cooked to oblivion:

Cooking Swiss Chard

Give it a try. You might like it!

Kimberly Clark

Friday 29th of November 2013

I just bought some! Can't wait to try it.


Thursday 19th of July 2012

rainbow chard is so pretty in the garden. i'm not sure why i didn't plant it this year. my family doesn't love it either, but they all eat it when i saute it & put it in an egg bake. also, the smaller (younger) it is the better it tastes.