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Name:

Swiss Chard

Variety:

 

Family

Leaf

Availability:

Year round

Character:

Regarded as similar to spinach, Chard has a stronger flavour. The main variety of Chard has a white stalk. Red beet is sometimes available. It has the same green leaves but has a rich pinky-red stem and veins. Chard grows all year round and is easy to cultivate

Use:

The young leaves can be used raw in a salad but Chard is usually eaten cooked. Pureed or finely chopped chard makes an excellent base for many dishes including roulade, pies, quiches or omelettes.

Quality Points:

Choose crisp green leaves with firm white stalks. Avoid leaves which are wilted or damaged.

Storage:

Refrigerate in plastic bags. Use promptly.

Preparation:

When cooking leaves, don't add water as the water that clings to them after washing is sufficient. The stems can be stripped off and cooked like asparagus. Alternatively both the stems and leaves can be used together, the stems take longer to cook so add the leaves 3 - 4 minutes after the stems.

Cooking Method:

Chard suits quick cooking methods like stir-frying, steaming or microwaving.

History:

The Greeks were the first to regard silver beet as a food. Later the Romans considered it a delicacy.

Nutrition:

Silver beet is an excellent source of vitamin C and E and pro vitamin A (-carotene) and like its cousin, spinach, is also rich in vitamin B6, folate, and contains a wide range of minerals including iron.

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