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Know Your Produce: Swiss Chard

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.

To store, place unwashed chard in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. It will keep fresh for several days. If you have large batches of chard, you can blanch the leaves and then freeze them.

To prep: Wash the chard well to remove any sand or soil that may be hidden in the leaves. One way to do this is to immerse pieces of cut chard in a bowl of cool water, swirling them around to remove any dirt and then quickly rinsing them with cool running water. Trim the bottom end of the stalk. If you find the stalks to be more fibrous than desired, make incisions near the base of the stalk and peel away the fibers, like you would do with celery.

To enjoy: Treat chard much like you would any other green (spinach, kale, bok choy), sauté, steam, or chop and add to soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes. Chard can also be baked into “chips” by removing the stems and tossing with sea salt and olive oil. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are brown but not burnt.