Chard: Seasonal Recipe Round-Up

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Welcome to our first Seasonal Recipe Round-Up! This time we’re featuring chard (and next time is spinach — see schedule below). I’m sharing my tips and a favorite recipe, and you can participate by sharing your own tips and/or recipes in the comments.

What is Chard?

Chard is a dark leafy green (like spinach, kale, beet greens, collard greens, mustard greens). You have probably heard of swiss chard or rainbow chard, and there are others. Rainbow chard is a variety of chard all growing together — and it is beautiful!

Chard is a spring green, though it can grow through the winter in mild climates, especially under a cold-frame roof. Our friends with whom we gardened last year have a few chard plants that grow perpetually under the cold frame so we ate it all spring, summer, fall, and winter.

The Good and the Bad

Chard, and the other dark leafy greens, contain abundant vitamins, minerals but also an anti-nutrient called oxalic acid. Oxalic acid binds with minerals in the digestive tract just as phytic acid does. To reduce oxalic acid, you should steam or ferment dark leafy greens. To ferment greens, see my online class in lacto-fermentation or my book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods.

How to Steam Chard

Steam for just long enough to wilt the greens (about five minutes), but keep them brightly colored — this reduces oxalic acid yet preserves other nutrition. You can use a steamer basket, or you can put the chard right in a few inches of simmering water in a pot.

Once steamed, drain the chard and discard the cooking water because it contains oxalic acid plus other impurities (like pesticides or nitrites if the produce was conventional). Then toss with additional ingredients or add to soups or dishes. For an example of this technique, see my Feta and Chard recipe.

You might run into recipes that call for an addition of greens to be cooked right along with everything else. This keeps the oxalic acid in the dish. Instead, steam the greens separately and add them to the dish after draining.

What About Green Smoothies?

It is best to add raw greens like chard sparingly, rather than regularly. As an alternative, consider steaming the chard, then adding it to the smoothie after it is cooled. If you have an abundance of chard, steam it then freeze or dehydrate it to add to smoothies over time.

How to Store and Use Chard

Store unwashed leaves in plastic bags in your refrigerator (preferably a crisper drawer) for 2 to 3 days, or up to a week. To use, wash and dry leaves. Trim off ends and any bad spots. Then use in recipes.

My Recipe: Feta and Chard

In today’s Seasonal Recipe Round-Up, I’m sharing our favorite way to eat chard — Feta and Chard. Though the chard is delicious, too, what makes this so good is the butter, the salt, and the feta. :)

Click here to see my recipe for Feta and Chard.

Now, it is your turn to share!

How to Participate in the Seasonal Recipe Round-Up

Bloggers and non-bloggers, feel free to add a comment here with your favorite recipes or posts.

Please use real, whole ingredients in recipes, and preferably traditional methods of preparation.  Whole ingredients means whole grains, vegetables, legumes, meats, and unrefined sweeteners. In order to keep the integrity of “nourishing” food, I will delete any recipes that use processed, boxed foods. Where possible, incorporate traditional methods of preparation, like soaking, sprouting and fermenting. The idea here is that your recipes and tips should help our readers find traditional methods for preparing seasonal vegetables.

Share Your Chard Recipes and Tips!

Edit: Here are the featured chard recipes.

Seasonal Recipe Round-Up Schedule: April through June

  • Friday, April 27, 2012 — Chard
  • Friday, May 11, 2012 — Spinach
  • Friday, May 25, 2012 — Rhubarb
  • Friday, June 8, 2012 — Asparagus
  • Friday, June 22, 2012 — Strawberries

All seasonal recipe round-ups are (and will be) listed on the Recipes page.

Come back on Friday, May 11 for our spinach link-up in the Seasonal Recipe Round-Up.


This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    Thank you for hosting! This week I have shared two swiss chard seasonal farm-to-table recipes that promote the benefits of good health through nutrition from eating fresh unprocessed seasonal produce:

    wild leek & swiss chard pesto

    thai swiss chard noodle wraps

    Happy cooking!
    The Intentional Minimalist

  2. says

    I’m so glad I had a lightbulb moment this past summer, and started steaming, pureeing, and freezing cubes of chard and kale for my smoothies. I had long been enjoying the greens raw in my smoothies (I’m a smoothie girl in summer, juicing girl in winter), but then became even more convinced I should be limiting my intake of raw cruciferous veggies.

    And then I remembered — I used to do this as baby food! (Not sure I’d *still* do it as baby food, that’s another story ; ) So I’d bulk-steam a bunch, puree, and freeze in ice cube trays. I’d put a cube or two in my smoothies each morning — I knew I was getting my cooked greens, and it added an icy-cold temperature to boot.

  3. says

    I love this seasonal round up Wardee! I’m excited to check out others posts. Being a veggie girl at heart… I’m so excited about this 😀 I linked up a Spanish rice and swiss chard dish. Hope you like it. Have a great weekend!!

  4. says

    Hi and thanks for hosting the Seasonal Recipe Round-Up – what a great idea! :)

    I’m sharing my recipe, Green Soup for Cleansing– the perfect antidote to a celebratory weekend or a string of over-indulgent choices. Fresh chard is a terrific choice for the “dark leafy greens” ingredient this time of year.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. says

    WOW–this is like a treasure chest of ideas for chard!

    Thank you to everyone who has linked up a recipe. I can hardly wait to start trying these tempting dishes when we pick up our next CSA basket tomorrow!

    • says

      Also, thanks to you, Wardee, for the excellent overview of chard and for that wonderful recipe.

      DH was not too sure about signing up for our CSA. Seeing how flavorful the farm-fresh broccoli, lettuces and Chinese cabbage were, he warmed up to the idea, though he remained wary of the unfamiliar vegetables that would be coming our way.

      Your chard and feta recipe was what won him over; he loved it! I was thrilled that, with only a few ingredients and a simple technique, I could serve him something so delicious AND nutritious. Now he looks forward to pick-up day as much as I do!

      Thank you also for providing a home for this round-up. I can’t wait to see how it grows!

      • says

        I’m so happy to hear how much your husband loves the chard and the CSA now! When we belonged to a CSA, pick-up day was thrilling for us, too!

  6. dewdle says

    I love cooked spinach, but can’t stand mustard or turnip greens, and can only tolerate collard greens if they’re cooked with bacon, onions, hot peppers, and a bit of vinegar. So when I read that chard was mild-flavored, I thought yay, I’ll probably like it then.

    But unless it was something about my gardening technique, I didn’t like chard at all! It didn’t have hardly any taste at all, IMO.

    But, then I thought how about I mix it with the stronger greens that I don’t like (that are considerably cheaper than spinach where I shop), and found that when I mixed low-flavored chard with collards, it was quite nice.

    IMO, chard is easier to grow than the other greens I’ve tried, so I’ll use it to tone down more affordable collards without having to heavily flavor them (DH doesn’t like the onion, hot pepper, vinegar style).

  7. Tas' says

    I make pumpkin and chard soup: onion, pumpkin, chard, chicken stock, coconut cream, tamarind (or lemon juice) and salt and pepper.

  8. Dani says

    I love to use chard in stir-fry type dishes, but does this method of cooking retain too much oxalic acid? I’m afraid if I steam or blanch the chard first I’ll end up with mush…

  9. says

    The steam-and-freezing-greens for smoothies idea is great! I have tried using fresh greens sparingly in smoothies before, but wondered if they would be more healthful lightly cooked. With the abundance in my garden now, this would be perfect.

  10. says

    This was a great post, if only because it highlighted the fact that one, I have never eaten chard, two, I had no idea what it really is (I do now!), and three, we can’t buy it in stores here! Today I discovered that a remote little garden center out of town carries the seeds, but I am reluctant to buy it until I know that my family will eat it, as space in the vegetable garden is limited.

  11. says

    I find it interesting to know what “chard” is. Growing up, all I ever knew was Swiss Chard. The rainbow kind was just the same thing, brightly coloured. The others we call by name; kale, spinach and beet *tops*. Until the internet, I never heard of collard or mustard greens.

    Now that I know all these wonderful vegetables, I look forward to trying these recipes!

  12. Emelie Rose LeCroy via Facebook says

    I often use swiss chard to switch things up a bit as the base green leafy vegetable in my green smoothies every morning. Lacinato kale also makes a terrific base green when preparing green smoothies. =)

  13. says

    Wow, all of these recipes makes me want to grow some! I’ve never tried chard, but I think I’m going to grow some next year!

  14. says

    LOL, I started to take Katy’s idea above (to steam, puree and then freeze the chard an ice cube tray for smoothies), but it wasn’t til I finished pureeing that I realized I had no ice cube trays!

    So I figured I could freeze it up in jam jars and have it ready to go for a cream soup when soup weather returns. But before doing that, I tried a spoonful with a dollop of butter–oh was it good!

    So now it looks like some of those jars are destined to be 2 Ingredient Creamed Chard, ha!

  15. says

    I can’t seem to be able to open the weston a. price website on this page, where you have oxalates highlighted. Please send me an email of the sight.


  16. KC says

    You mention fermenting to get around the oxalic acid, so that is reduced with fermenting or are you steaming first? I have hashimotos so don’t want to ferment any cruciferous veggies since I’ve heard goitrens are increased with fermenting and just wanted to double check on how this all works. Thanks!

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