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Green Swiss Chard
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Greens Swiss chard has broad wavy and crinkled green leaves with snow white stalks and veins flowing throughout the foliage. The leaves are succulent and tender, their flavor far less robust than other pigmented varieties, which is why Green Swiss chard has been nicknamed "Butter chard". The white stalks are equally as edible with a mild salty favor, lacking the bitterness common with colored varieties.
Green Swiss chard is available year-round.
Green Swiss chard, botanical name Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla var. Flavescens, is the common name given to several Green Swiss chard varieties such as Fordhook Giant and Bionda di Lyon. They are fast growing annuals in the Goosefoot Family or Chenopodiaceae. Chard and many of its relatives, specifically beets, are known to develop a natural salty characteristic because of their tendency to fix the sodium, naturally occurring in the soil, into their greens.
Green Swiss chard is an excellent source of, potassium, iron, vitamin A and C, calcium, and fiber. Low in calories, one cup cooked chard contains about 35 calories.
Green Swiss chard can be eaten raw when young, but larger leaves are best cooked. They can be sautéed, blanched, stewed, braised, baked, and even grilled. Use raw leaves to add an earthy saltiness in green salad mixes. Slow cook entire stalks similarly to collards and compliment with smoked meats and white beans. Wilt the shredded leaves into pastas or atop pizzas and flatbreads. The stalks are as equally edible as the leaves, and may be used in dishes for added texture. Complimentary flavors include citrus, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, chickpeas, white beans, potatoes, aged and melting cheeses, cream, mushrooms, bacon, sausage, ham, chili flakes, fennel and herbs such as basil, tarragon and chervil.
Green Swiss chard has been touted as a “super food” due to its rich supply of flavonoids, specifically quercetin. Quercitin is what gives many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their colors, but it also has strong antioxidant effects in humans and has been linked to fighting off cancer and heart disease.
As its genus, Beta vulgaris, suggests, chard is, in fact, a beet that has been chosen for leaf production at the expense of root formation. All chard varieties are descendants of the sea beet (B. maritima), a wild seashore plant found growing along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Europe and North Africa. Green Swiss chard is easily adaptable to many soils and climates. It grows vigorously and produce large yields. Large plants reach two feet in height and are very upright in architecture, making for a showy edible garden element.
Recipes that include Green Swiss Chard. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Rose Water & Orange Blossoms||Garlicky Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard and Lemon|