VegBox Recipes

Swiss Chard (Red)

Swiss Chard (Red) Swiss chard is another one of those vegetables that tends to arrive in large, unexplained bundles in your veg box!

It doesn't keep for long, so you should make it one of the first things you use from your weekly box.

Its earthy taste is a little stronger than spinach.

If you decide you like the tatse, then you're onto a winner, because chard is one of the most nutritious vegetables around.

It can be hard to persuade kids to eat chard, so you might want to "hide" it. If this sounds useful, you could try our recipe for swiss chard pesto.

In Season?
July to late October or early November.
Buy?
Chard leaves should be green, not browning or yellowing.

If they're already wilting, then they're past their best.

For organically grown chard, you might find some minor leaf damage from caterpillars and slugs. The leaves are still perfectly edible (when washed).
Store?
Don't wash chard before storing it - the extra moisture can cause it to wilt.

Keep it either loose or in a paper bag in the fridge for 2-3 days. Much longer than this and they will start to wilt.
Cook?
Wash chard well before use, to remove any soil and grit from the leaves.

Chard can be used raw in salads, similar to spinach in cooked dishes and some people even use it in desserts! (We've not tried this yet - anyone got a chard dessert recipe?)

If your chard has chunky stems, then it can be easier to treat it as two separate vegetables. The stems will need to cook for longer than the leaves.

Snap off the stems and chop them. Saute them with garlic and butter until soft. Chop the leaves and add them for the last 2 minutes - just like spinach. Finish with a little fresh, grated nutmeg.
Use the leaves as you would spinach. Make sure you don't overcook them, or they'll go slimey...

More Swiss Chard (Red) Information

Chard is a member of the beet family and has a crunchy stalks and spinach-like leaves.

It is commonly known as Swiss Chard, even though it isn't Swiss. It's actually native to the Mediterranean area, but is now cultivated worldwide.

It's thought to have been given the "Swiss" part of its name because the Swiss botanist, Koch, gave it its scientific name in the 1800s.

The leaves have a slightly bitter, earthy flavour and are excellent eaten either raw or cooked.

The ancient Greeks and Romans prized chard for its medicinal properties.

It's an excellent source of iron, vitamin C and magnesium (essential for the absorption of calcium). So it's well worth trying to persuade kids to eat it - even if you have to disguise it! (Try Swiss chard pesto for this!)

The main chard season is June to August in the UK, though polytunnels mean it's often available for a longer season. There are some varieties that can be grown over winter, making it a useful filler crop during the cold weather.

Red Chard

Swiss Chard

White Chard

Chard

Yellow Chard

Yellow Chard

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow chard doesn't actually exist. Instead, it's where white, red and yellow chard are bunched together!

Swiss Chard Pesto
This recipe is a variation on a traditional Egyptian dish. It includes the addition of toasted pine nuts and parmesan, to give more breadth to the flavour. If you'd rather cook just the traditional dish, see the Variations section.

This is a useful way to sneakily hide chard from a fussy eater!

Note: this recipe can be useful for using up a glut of Swiss Chard. You can keep the pesto in the fridge for up to 3 days - or you can freeze it in small pots.
Ingredients

Use as a pasta sauce, or add at the last minute to give extra flavour to a stew.


Method
  1. Wash the chard thoroughly and shake to dry.

  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the olive oil. Peel and chop the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

  3. Chop the chard stems and add them to the pan. Stir and then cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

  4. Roughly chop the chard leaves and add them to the pan. Cook for another 3 minutes.

  5. Toast the pine nuts for a couple of minutes (either under a pre-heated grill or in a dry pan)


  6. Turn off the heat under the chard. Add the coriander leaves, pine nuts and parmesan.

  7. Puree the mixture until it looks like pesto.



Cupboard-To-Table

About 15 minutes

Suggested Chard Recipes

Autumn Pizza

Don't be put off making your own pizza by thinking it's complicated - it's actually really simple. This one uses autumn veg box ingredients to make a delicious topping.

Chard and Veggie Bake with a Mushroom, Quinoa and Goats Cheese Crumble Topping

We've been so blessed with recipe submissions from our readers, and from enthusiastic veg box providers around the country that it's been a while since we've invented a new one of our own.

Last week we received a box that contained carrots, chard, mushrooms, shallots and turnips. We already had a can of mixed beans in the cupboard, garlic cloves, some unfinished goats cheese in the fridge and a big box of quinoa.

This was the result!

Chard and Veggie Bake with a Mushroom, Quinoa and Goats Cheese Crumble Topping

We've been so blessed with recipe submissions from our readers, and from enthusiastic veg box providers around the country that it's been a while since we've invented a new one of our own.

Last week we received a box that contained carrots, chard, mushrooms, shallots and turnips. We already had a can of mixed beans in the cupboard, garlic cloves, some unfinished goats cheese in the fridge and a big box of quinoa.

This was the result!

Dutch Potatoes with Winter Greens

This side dish is absolutely perfect for a cold Winter's night.

Dutch Potatoes with Winter Greens

This is just perfect for a cold night.

Jam-Packed Summer Vegetable Risotto

This ruby-red risotto not only looks stunning but tastes amazing AND it can be adapted to use whatever's in your box this week.

Kale And Roquefort Parcels

If youíve got an excess of kale and a household thatís close to being fed up of eating it, hereís a recipe that should inspire them again. Or see the variations for ideas with chard or spinach.

Kale Pesto Pasta

This is a brilliant way of sneaking kale past fussy eaters. The garlic helps reduce the bitterness of the kale and the pine nuts add a sweet, nutty flavour. It also works well with spinach, chard or black nero cabbage.

Peas and Pears Late Summer Salad

This is another one of the brilliant creations that emerge when hunger bumps noisily up against what's left in the fridge and the fruit bowl!

Porcini Mushroom And Spinach Quiche

This quiche is great with dried porcini mushrooms. nd itís a great way to use up spare spinach. Or, if you prefer, you can substitute Swiss Chard.

Quiche with Chard and (Ethically-sourced) Chicken

This recipe was submitted to us by Justin, who says:

"Well, I had some red chard I didn't know what to do with, so I figured I could put it in a spinach quiche (in place of the spinach of course). And it came out splendidly."

We say: "Good on ya, Justin ... GRRREAT recipe! And thanks for the great photo from your blog."

Spicy Kale with Chickpeas

This recipe has come in from Jason H, who says:

"If you don't like the texture of chick peas then you could use mixed beans instead, in which case cook them for longer."

Thanks for the submission, Jason - it's a perfect recipe for the Winter months.

Spinach And Potato Curry

If you've got some spare spinach and fancy a filling evening meal, this one is easy to make. It's similar to the Indian Sag Aloo. It also works well with Swiss chard, instead of spinach.

Spinach Gnocchi Bake

Spinach and Gruyere cheese make a delicious combination in this gnocchi bake. If you don't have spinach, it also works well with kale or chard.

Spinach, Blue Cheese & Pine Nut Lasagne

This is an amazingly delicious recipe for spinach lasagne. We kept going back for more. It takes a little effort, so you might want to make double and freeze half for another day - if it lasts that long!
Also works well with Swiss chard or kale.

Spring Vegetable Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is a South American “grain” – actually a seed. It’s considered by many to be a super-food, because of the balance of proteins it contains. It's easy to cook and delicious.

This recipe also uses sunflower or walnut oil in the dressing (high in essential fatty acids), so it's a super-tasty, super-healthy meal.

Stefan's Swede Cakes

Thanks so much to Stefan D for inventing this recipe and sharing it with us. We're inclined to agree with him when he says that he now prefers swede-based cakes to the more traditional potato variety!

Swiss Chard and Sesame Stir Fry

This lovely Swiss Chard recipe is easy to make, very colourful (if you use rainbow chard) and good for you, too, with a wonderful sweetness and a savoury crunch. Also works well with spinach.

Swiss Chard Pesto

This recipe is a variation on a traditional Egyptian dish. It includes the addition of toasted pine nuts and parmesan, to give more breadth to the flavour. If you'd rather cook just the traditional dish, see the Variations section.

This is a useful way to sneakily hide chard from a fussy eater!

Note: this recipe can be useful for using up a glut of Swiss Chard. You can keep the pesto in the fridge for up to 3 days - or you can freeze it in small pots.

Watercress, Spinach & Goats' Cheese Salad

I invented this recipe one lunchtime when we were all craving salad - in the depths of winter. Our local farm shop had some fresh watercress and mixed winter leaves and the rest is, as they say, history.

The warm goats' cheese makes this salad a filling winter or springtime treat.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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