Side Dish

Rainbow Chard: Farmer’s Market Finds

I think I may have mentioned this before. I love my greens!

So you can imagine how excited I was to see these gorgeous gems at the farmer’s market!

What is it? Swiss chard. Not just Swiss chard – rainbow Swiss chard. Look at  those colorful stems. Gorgeous.

But there’s something you may not know. I don’t really like the stems on my greens. In fact, I pretty much trim off the stems from all greens. For me, they tend to be tough, even when cooked. Okay, now you know one dirty little secret.

This time is different. This time I feel a little guilty. Just look at all those lovely looking stems with their bright colors shining up at me. Look. So what’s a girl to do?

Of course, I’ll give it shot! Nothing to lose right? Except maybe me getting a little annoyed. Remember the jicama incident? I tend to get a little testy when there is vegetable I don’t like.

On a whim, I decided to saute the stems, then add the greens. The result? Delicious.

So what is this rainbow Swiss chard? Is it actually Swiss? Can you eat it raw or do you have to cook it? Well, it’s not really Swiss but it was discovered by a Swiss Botanist.  It’s very popular in Mediterranean countries and can be eaten raw and cooked. Swiss chard is part of the beet and spinach family and the stems can range in color from white to bright red. Rainbow Swiss chard is actually not a variation of chard but just a bunch of different colors grouped together to look really pretty!

Okay, but is it nutritious? Oh, but of course! Move over kale, this green is a nutritional powerhouse in a pretty package. Low in calorie, this green is full of vitamins and minerals. It actually  provides more than 300% of the daily value for vitamin K. In case you didn’t know, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s needed for blood-clotting. Caution with this though – if you are on blood-thinning medications vitamin K can affect how these drugs work.

Chard is easy to cook and tastes a little like spinach, stronger in flavor but milder than kale. Use the leaves in place of any other green or try a new recipe.  The stems should be trimmed and cooked prior to the leaves or try something fun with them! Anyway you try it, I think you’ll be pleased.

Have you tried rainbow Swiss chard? What is your favorite way to prepare it?

Sauteed Rainbow Swiss Chard
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Author: Erin Dishes Nutrition
  • 2 bunches rainbow Swiss Chard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  1. Rinse and pat dry the leaves and stems of both bunches.
  2. Trim the bottom edge of the stems and throw out.
  3. Trim the stems off of the leaves and cut into half inch pieces (you can cut it smaller if you prefer). Heat the oil in a pan, when oil is hot add the stems to the pan.
  4. Saute in the pan for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
  5. Once softened, add the shallots and garlic. Saute for about a minute.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
  7. Roughly chop the leaves of the chard and add to pan.
  8. Stir around to incorporate the stems, shallots and garlic.
  9. Let wilt for a few minutes, season with salt and pepper if desired and serve.



Erin DIshes

Published by
Erin DIshes

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