Colorful Swiss chard is best when cooked simply, like in this recipe where it’s simmered in a little bit of salted water and then tossed with butter.
If you’ve ever seen a beautiful bunch of Swiss chard with those vibrantly colorful stems, but weren’t sure what to do with it, this recipe is for you. Learn all about this tasty green vegetable and how to cook it simply and deliciously. All you need is a large saucepan, some water, salt, and butter. There are more details about this tasty veggie below, or you can click here to jump straight to the recipe.
What Is Swiss Chard?
Swiss chard is green, leafy vegetable, typically with long stalks and wrinkly leaves. It’s related to beets and spinach. Swiss chard has a mild, grassy, slightly bitter flavor that mellows with cooking.
You can find Swiss chard in most grocery stores and it comes with stems in a variety of colors, like red, yellow, orange, pink, and white. The leaves can range from light to dark green, and sometimes deep purple with hues of red. When you buy a bunch with colorful stems, it may also be labelled as rainbow chard.
Preparing Swiss Chard For Cooking
Similar to beet greens, Swiss chard stems are more tender and less bitter than a kale or collard greens stalk. They therefore don’t need to be cooked for very long. Having said that, they do need a bit longer than their delicate leaves. To keep the leaves from becoming overcooked and the stems undercooked, the stems cook for about three minutes before the leaves are added.
To make the Swiss chard, first rinse it all in lots of cold water to remove any dirt or grit. The easiest way to do this is to untie the bunch of leaves if they were tied together, and then arrange them in a large colander. Spray cold water all over them, moving them around a bit, until they’re well-rinsed. Since we’ll be cooking these in water, there’s no need to dry them, just give them a little shake so they’re not wet on your cutting board.
Peel the leaves off of the stems and keep the stems and leaves separate. Cut the stems into 2-inch pieces, then roughly chop the leaves.
Simmering The Swiss Chard
Put about one inch of water and a half teaspoon of salt into a large saucepan. Bring the water to a boil. Add the chard stems. Stir and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for three and a half minutes.
Stir in the leaves and cook for one and a half minutes more. The stems and leaves should now be fork-tender. Drain the water from the pan, add the butter and stir to coat.Print
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, about 10 large stems
- ½ Tbsp. butter
- To a medium saucepan add 1 inch of water and the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Put the Swiss chard leaves into a large colander and rinse them well under cold water. Shake off excess water.
- Peel the leaves from the stems, keeping the leaves and stems in separate piles.
- Roughly chop the leaves. Cut stems into 2-inch pieces.
- Add stems to the boiling salted water in the saucepan. Stir. Reduce to a simmer and cook 3 and ½ minutes. Add leaves, cook 1 and ½ minutes more. Test that stems are fork-tender.
- Strain water from pan. Add butter, stir to coat. Serve warm.
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