Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rainbow Chard: the "valedictorian of veggies"

We receive regular boxes of organic produce from Full Circle Farm.  The boxes often include foods I've never tried before, such as rainbow chard. Digging around the internet, I learned that chard is referred to as the "valedictorian of vegetables" because it is so jam-packed with nutrients. In addition to being a great source of Vitamins A, C, and K, chard is rich in B-complex vitamins. It also contains copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Oh, and did I mention it's an awesome source of fiber? 

My problem with these super veggies is that sometimes, they taste downright awful. I refuse to eat awful-tasting food no matter how good it is for me. So, I made it my mission to make this veggie taste good.  I sauteed the chard with a crisp white wine and fresh lemon juice to add a nice clean counterpoint to the chard's earthiness.  Parmesan contributes a little creaminess to the finished dish.  Serves four as a side or two as a main dish.  Pair with cous-cous or rice for a vegetarian entree.

1 bunch fresh rainbow or Swiss chard, thoroughly washed
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup white wine
fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste
2-4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Note: pre-grated cheese contains anti-caking agents that damage its melting properties. For best results in dishes like this (and particularly in cheese sauces), grate the cheese yourself.


1. Cut the chard leaves away from the stems. Chop the stems into 1/2" sections and set aside, separate from the leaves. Tear the chard leaves into small, salad-size pieces.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and the chopped onion and cook until fragrant, about 1 min.

3. Add the chard stems and white wine and saute until stems are softened, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the chard leaves and cook until fully wilted, stirring to incorporate them.

5. Turn the heat down to low and add the lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Stir, remove from heat and serve.


  1. love this! and love local choices!! glad we're back in touch!

  2. You could also try cooking 2 pieces of bacon and throwing a bunch of torn up Swiss chard as well. Goes good with some green onions and peas.

    Creamed Swiss chard is pretty good too.

    I get backwoods home magazine and they had a recipe similar to this (except no wine, lemon, butter,or onion) and they recommended putting sunflower seeds on it.