Chard is a hardy green that can be grown in Oregon year-round, It’s basically a beet grown for nice leaves, just like beets are essentially chard grown for their roots. Chard’s flavor is much more mellow than beets and tastes more like spinach. The best thing about chard compared to spinach is that chard is more nutritious and doesn’t have as much oxalic acid in its leaves like spinach does, so it’s easier to digest and milder in flavor.
How to Store Chard
- Wash chard leaves well before using.
- If you are eating chard raw, spin the leaves dry.
- If you are cooking it, you can skip spinning the leaves since the extra moisture will help in the cooking.
- Chard can keep up to a week or so in the fridge—just make sure it stays hydrated!
Cooking Ideas for Chard
- Steamed: My favorite way to eat chard is to throw it into the instant pot (or any steamer) with a little diced garlic and a dash of salt and turn it to 1 minute on the steam setting. It will take more time than that for the pot to come up to temperature, and it seems to turn out perfect for me every time.
- Raw: Young, tender leaves can be enjoyed chopped up and raw in salads. They are also great when used wilted by a hot dressing.
- Sauteed: You can quickly saute chard by shopping up the stems like celery, adding them to the pan, then adding the greens a few minutes later. Young chard generally cooks up in 2 minutes, older chard may take up to 5 minutes.
- Any Standard Greens Preparation: Chard can be steamed, boiled, added to soups, or used in baked casseroles, like spinach in a lasagna.
- With Eggs: Chard compliments eggs quite well. It’s many people’s go-to green for omelets, frittata, quiche, egg drop soup, and more. If you steam or saute the leaves before adding it to an egg dish it will help make it so the leaves don’t stick up and get burned. A quick snack idea: saute the chard and then crack and scramble a few eggs over them.
- Substitute for other Greens: You can substitute chard for almost any recipe calling for cooked greens. It can easily fill in for beet greens and spinach since it’s so closely related, but it can also be a substitute for kale, broccoli raab, or other cooking greens.
- Freezing: Chard is great to freeze for winter soups. You can just quickly blanch the leaves for about 2 minutes, dump them in a cold water bath, drain, and freeze in a zip lock in soup-sized portions. Chop them to the desired size before blanching.