Swiss chard

{Juicy, healthy and earthy}

RedChardResized

With its sturdy leaves and fully edible stems, Swiss chard is like spinach — but with a difference; it has an earthier and even sweeter personality. According to food historian Alan Davidson, it can be traced back to the hanging gardens of ancient Babylonia and is still a mainstay in much of Arab cuisine and also widely used around the Mediterranean, from Provence to Catalonia. Easily grown in well-drained soil, chard comes in a relatively new variety called “Bright Lights” which features stems that range from yellowy-orange to pink to deep red and many shades in between. You may find “Rainbow chard” in your local store, which is simply a melange of chard with different colored stems bunched together for sale. Good for you, chard is high in vitamins A, C and K, a good source of folate and rich in iron and minerals as well. It’s best to cook the leaves and stems separately since the stems take longer to become tender.

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