Swiss chard is kind of like the vodka of the vegetable world: It mixes well with everything. Try using it as a substitute for spinach, kale, collards, or mustard greens. Here are three innovative recipes designed to inspire your own chard culinary creations.
Young leaves taste delicious raw, says David Joachim, coauthor of Fresh Choices. He slices the leaves into thin strips and tosses them with pine nuts, blue cheese, and grape tomatoes. Top the salad off with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar and season with sea salt and pepper. Serve on top of a mature chard leaf.
Swiss Chard Slaw
Kevin Ruch, chef and owner of 14 Acre Farm, in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania, created this simple riff on a summer classic. Julienne chard stems into inch-long pieces and steam them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender-crisp. Slice the leaves into skinny strips and combine with slivers of red onion, finely sliced radish, and the stems. Toss the mixture with a light tarragon-based vinaigrette and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Place six to eight chard leaves (with stems) into the water and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the leaves from the water and pat them dry. Cut off the stems at the base of the leaves. Using each leaf as a wrap, stuff it with your favorite filling, rolling it up as you would a burrito.
Swiss chard is chock-full of vitamin A, folate, fiber, and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. One cup of cooked chard contains 3 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, and only 35 calories. Surprisingly, this green veggie is also very high in sodium, at 313 milligrams per cup.
Related: 14 Vegetarian Foods That Have More Iron Than Meat