Swiss Chardcomments (2) November 5th, 2010
Chard (Beta vulgaris, var. cicla) and beet greens (B. vulgaris, var. crassa) are closely related, though chard has been cultivated for several centuries as a leaf crop only; it does not form swollen roots. Chard is a prolific and reliable performer in most gardens, and has the advantage over beets that it will give good-flavored greens even during the hottest months, provided that it has plenty of water.
Other names for this flavorful leafy green are Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, and in Europe it is often called silverbeet. Both red and green varieties are tasty—and the bright multi-colored chards are very popular as a vegetable and an ornamental. I like the red for its beautiful color and slightly more mineral flavor, and the green for its meaty thick white stalks and mellow flavor. Ruby Red or Rhubarb; Charlotte, Paros, and Erbette; Joseph’s Coat, Bright Lights and Rainbow Chard are varieties that I have grown and am fond of.
Not only is chard delicious, it is very high in nutrients, low in calories and fats, good for controlling cholesterol and weight. The leaves contain anti-oxidants, Vitamins A, C, and K, and omega-3 fatty acids, trace minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
Here is a yummy recipe using some of your fall crop: Chard Baked with Parmesan Cheese.
posted in: Swiss chard, chard, Beta vulgaris