Until we had a vegetable box delivered each week I had only heard of Swiss chard and had never been confronted by one… I think I knew chard was a sort of leaf which people ate like cabbage, but despite my dad growing all sorts of different green vegetables in the large garden we had in the flat we lived in when I was a child, he never grew chard, Swiss or otherwise…
In fact, on looking it up I find that it’s a super veg among veg, and very popular in the Mediterranean and has no connection with Switzerland at all and nor does it come from the town of Chard in Somerset. As for being a super vegetable, it contains vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, and iron, is a very good source of dietary fibre, choline, vitamin B2, calcium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, and protein, and also a good source of pantothenic acid, zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, folate, and selenium.
I should be in amazing good health after eating it! I’ve had it before in my veg box, and I have to say I didn’t cook it in the most successful way so I have resolved to do better! having looked at all sorts of different advice and recipes, I’m going to cook the green leafy part separately, and probably quite simply by boiling it. Boiling is good with chard, apparently cooking it in boiling water frees up the acids so they leach into the water which can be then thrown away! Once cooked for a couple of minutes it’s best to treat it like spinach and press out the water – and I have come across a nice recipe dressing the leaves as you would a salad with oil and vinegar.
So what should I do with the stalks? When I had the chard before I simply sliced them and steamed them, but even a vegetarian visitor only had a tiny helping to be polite… I’ve found a recipe to pickle them with caraway and brown mustard seeds in a rice vinegar mixture… I have no rice vinegar… is it really necessary? Would another light vinegar do instead… I must investigate further to make sure I don’t end up wasting my time and ingredients to produce something inedible!
In trying to find out abotu this vegetable I came across this very informative site: