All Simple Vegetable Recipes

How to Store and Prepare Swiss Chard

Storage and preparation:

Chard vegetable wilts quickly and is best when cooked as fresh as possible. If for some reason you cannot prepare it the day it is bought, place the unwashed chard in a perforated vegetable bag in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator and plan to eat it within a day, or two at the most.

Vegetable Chard should be thoroughly washed like spinach and then the stems should be stripped from the leaves. The easiest way to strip the stems is to hold the leaf in the left hand. Fold the leaf over so that the stem is on the right side. Grasp the bottom of the stem and pull up (or down). It should separate from the leaf. If the leaves are a little tough, fold the leaf so the stem is on the right side, lay it on a board and use sharp knife to cut the stem away from the leaf.

Once cut, green chard stems will turn brown quickly. To prevent discoloring, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to a bowl filled with 1 quart of water and drop in the stems as soon as they are prepared. Trim the stems, cut into the desired length and drop them into the acidulated water. If parboiling the stems, cook them in the acidulated water.

Basic Swiss Chard

Green chard leaves are best when cooked like spinach, in the water that clings to the leaves after washing. Simply pile the leaves in a large kettle or skillet set over medium heat and cook them, stirring occasionally, until the leaves wilt and seem to melt into themselves. The cooking time will depend on the size and freshness of the leaves but will only be a matter of a few minutes. Stir with a fork and serve or continue with the recipe. The leaves can be also be boiled for 2 to 3 minutes in a large kettle of salted water to cover and drained. This is a good way to cook the leaves if you want them whole for stuffing. The leaves can be left whole, cut into strips or chopped, depending on the dish you are making.


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