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Rainbow Chard: Kitchen Basics

Rainbow chardRainbow chard is a cacophony of dazzling multicolored stems: gold, pink, orange, purple, red, mauve and white in electric and pastel variations. The stems are set off by deep green or bronze leaves.

Rainbow chard stalks and leaves can be cooked and served as you would spinach.

Rainbow chard is the most colorful when plants are allowed to grow to maturity.

How to Choose Rainbow Chard

  • Select chard with stalks that are crisp and unblemished and with leaves that are tender and evenly colored.

How to Store Rainbow Chard

  • Chard can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Rainbow chard steamed
Rainbow chard steamed with sweet peppers

Rainbow Chard Serving and Cooking Suggestions

  • Chard leaves can be served raw in salads just like spinach.
  • Cook chard stalks like asparagus. 
  • Cook chard greens like spinach. Be sure to prepare them separately.
  • Blanch stalks in salted water for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender.
  • Steam stalks about 8 to 15 minutes.
  • Braise stalks in the oven, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Chard leaves can be steamed or boiled, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Rainbow chard
Rainbow chard ‘Bright Lights’

About Chard

  • Harvest rainbow chard can when the leaves reach about 6 inches (15 cm) in length; that is when the stalks will be most colorful.
  • ‘Bright Lights’ is a favorite rainbow chard variety.
  • Chard is harvested from late spring until late fall.
  • Chard is often called Swiss chard in the United States. It is known as silverbeet or sea kale beet in Britain and other parts of the world.

Also of interest:

Chard Cooking and Serving Tips

How to Grow Chard

How to Harvest and Store Chard

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