IN SEASON - June, July, August, October
Swiss chard, along with kale, mustard greens and collard greens, is one of several leafy green vegetables often referred to as "greens". It is a tall leafy green vegetable with a thick, crunchy stalk that comes in white, red or yellow with wide fan-like green leaves. Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile: it has the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavor of spinach leaves. Both the leaves and stalk of chard are edible, although the stems vary in texture with the white ones being the most tender.
Do not store greens in paper bags. Store unwashed with a dampened paper towel in a perforated plastic bag and refrigerate. By changing the towel occasionally and keeping it damp, you’ll be able to store the greens for up to a week. Freezing: Greens freeze well. Wash, then blanch for 3 minutes, drain and plunge into ice water. Chill for two minutes; drain. Pack in freezer containers or bags. Use within 6 months.
Swiss chard is a quick cooking green that is similar to spinach, though sweeter. It comes with white, red, or golden stems and veins. Cut inch or so off bottom of stems, slice stems and coursely chop the leaves. Saute with oil, garlic, and pepper. Cook stems then stir in leaves as the stems take a bit longer. Sprinkle with salt.