Swiss Chard

chard - france

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard does not come from Switzerland, but a Swiss botanist is responsible for its analysis and thus his country was honored in the name. It, along with spinach, beets, and quinoa, belongs to the goosefoot family, so-called because the leaves of the plants resemble (somewhat) goose feet!  Swiss chard is sold in bunches.  It needs to be washed with attention because the leaves have deep grooves where sand and grit can hide.  Also, as seen in this photograph taken in an organic market in Paris, it has really large, tough stems which I always remove before cooking. Swiss chard, along with kale, collards, and spinach, is full of wonderful nutritional value and it is a strong definite to be included in the diet.

Swiss chard  is an excellent source of vitamin K , A, & C, of magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.  It is a very good source of copper, calcium, tryptophan, riboflavin, and vitamin 6 as well as protein.  A good source of phosphorus, thiamin, zinc, folate, niacin, and pantothenic acid, and has only 35 calories per cooked cup.

To serve Swiss chard as a side dish, simply cut along both side of the tough stem leaving the leaves, cut into strips and place in a deep skillet with a bit of olive oil and a little garlic.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper,  put a top on the skillet and allow the chard to steam for about 4 minutes or so.  Turn heat off and leave in the pan for another 4-5 minutes.  The chard will not wilt as much as spinach does.  A bunch as regularly sold in market will make 2 generous servings or 3-4 smaller ones.

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