Also known as plain chard, Swiss chard has large, fleshy, tender, deep green leaves and thick, crisp stalks. Although they're unrelated, chard is similar to spinach, but with a stronger, more assertive (or, as some think, bitter) flavour.
Different types of chard have different coloured stalks and ribs – some are white, some are a golden-orange and some are red (called ruby or rhubarb chard); there's even rainbow chard. There's very little difference in taste, but ruby and rhubarb chard can have a slightly stronger flavour.
Take a look at our chard recipe collection for some creative cooking inspiration.
Choose the best
Go for leaves that are bright green and fresh-looking, with no brown discolouration. Stems should be firm. Unlike many vegetables, larger Swiss chard leaves aren't necessarily tougher than smaller ones.
How to prepare Swiss chard
The leaves and stalks should be cooked separately. Wash then cut the stalks from the leaves and leave whole or chop, as required. On some older leaves you may need to cut out the ribs, too. Leaves can be left whole or chopped, as required.
How to store Swiss chard
In a perforated bag in the fridge, for up to four days.
How to cook Swiss chard
- Leaves: boil (1-2 minutes); steam (3-4 minutes).
- Stems: stir-fry (around 2 minutes); boil (3-4 minutes); steam (4-5 minutes); roast (10 minutes).
Our top Swiss chard recipes
1. Swiss chard gratin
It's a fact that any ingredient can be made better by the addition of plenty of cheese. Our Swiss chard gratin goes well with venison or a meaty fish like turbot or halibut. Pickling the chard first gives it a very deep, robust flavour that pairs well with the star anise and punchy gruyère.
2. Baked Swiss chard
Looking for a comforting dish to accompany your Sunday roast? Try our baked Swiss chard, it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Try baking these luscious leafy greens with garlic, cream and plenty of parmesan for an uber-indulgent side dish. Serve golden and bubbling.
3. Quick braised chard & lentils
Bring some green goodness to a standard side dish with our quick braised chard & lentils with a light olive oil dressing. This nutritious and vibrant veggie recipe is full of colour and texture. It could also be served as a main course for two.
4. Chard, sweet potato & peanut stew
This wholesome chard, sweet potato & peanut stew is an ideal winter warmer. It's the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, with a deliciously nutty flavour we can't resist. The leftovers will taste even better the next day, when the flavours have had time to intensify.
5. Swiss chard & kohlrabi with lemon sauce
Our final sensational side dish is Swiss chard & kohlrabi with a lemon sauce. This healthy bowl of greens is full of fresh flavours and goes well with grilled salmon or a simple chicken breast.
What's your favourite way to serve Swiss chard? Leave a comment below...