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Swiss chard, its properties and how to enjoy them with these seasonal recipes

22 mayo, 2021

Today we want to tell you about a seasonal vegetables, chard, explaining their nutritional properties, the different varieties and proposing our best recipes so that you can enjoy them now that they are at their best.

Swiss chard are peculiar vegetables, which have a flavor that reminds us of the earth, as is the case with beets, trout and other foods. You eat both the leaf, similar to that of spinach, and the stalk or white part, and they are a very healthy food, which is now in full season.

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Nutritional characteristics and properties

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Swiss chard are vegetables with low calorie content, less than 20 kcal per 100 grams, so they are perfect in weight loss and weight maintenance diets. They are also very rich in fiber, which contributes to said utility.

Regarding their nutrient content, these vegetables contain vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, in addition to vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also rich in minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and have copper, iron and phosphorous content.

Its consumption also gives us some fatty acids such as Omega-3, flavonoids lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin.

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Cultivation of chard and its varieties

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Chard is grown all over the world, and also in our country where it occurs especially in the provinces of Cádiz, Navarra and Alicante. They generally have two seasons, one from February to June and another from September to December, the richest being those of April and May and those of October and November when temperatures are milder.

Chard is a biennial herbaceous plant that therefore blooms in the second year of its cultivation. It is grown as an annual and is characterized by its large bright green leaves or reddish and by its marked nerves. The stems or petioles called stalks, can be white, yellow or red, depending on the variety of chard in question.

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Regarding its culinary uses, chard can be consumed in various ways, both raw using the most tender leaves for salads or pestos, or cooked, usually cooked, like spinach. Both the leaf and the stalks of the smaller leaves are consumed, since the stalks of the large leaves are usually bitter.

The best recipes with chard

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We selected five varied recipes with chard, forming part of an original creamy rice, a simple and healthy sauté for a light dinner, a traditional stew, a batter made with the stalks and forming part of a filling. If you follow these recipes you will surely enjoy this ingredient a lot.

Creamy rice with chard and potato

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We chop the garlic clove and the onion finely. Heat a little oil in a large pan or casserole and fry over low heat. Meanwhile, we peel and dice the potato. We withdraw the stalk of chard, which we save for another preparation, wash and chop.

Add the potato to the pan, season and sauté for a couple of minutes before adding the tomato sauce, the chorizo ​​pepper pulp and the paprika. Stir and add the chopped chard and rice. We mix well and sauté a couple more minutes.

Finally we add the broth, season again (if it is broth without salt), raise the heat to the maximum and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat for the first two minutes, then lower to medium heat and cook for another 13 minutes, stirring every two or three minutes. We let rest five minutes before serving.

More details in the full recipe

Sauteed rainbow chard with ham

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  • Ingredients: 500 gr of rainbow or normal chard, 100 gr of Serrano ham, 1 garlic, 1/2 lemon
  • Elaboration: The first thing we are going to do is wash the chard well to remove the dirt that they usually bring when you buy them at the market. After a few rinses, we cut the bottom part that has the roots and chop the chard for cooking. Today we are going to cut the chard into pieces of about 3 cm and cook them for about 6 minutes in salted water. Once the chard is cooked, drain it well and sauté it in a pan with sliced ​​garlic, sautéing for about 5 minutes. We chop the ham into cubes and add it to the pan so that it is cooked with the remaining heat and we serve them immediately, bringing a lemon cut into quarters so that whoever prefers it can sprinkle them with the juice. Personally, I think it is how they are richer since the acid of the lemon goes very well to the powerful flavor of the chard.

More details in the full recipe

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  • Ingredients: 3 bunches of chard clean and chopped, 1/2 kilo of almortas, 1/2 kilo of peeled broad bean, 1 and ½ kilos of colleja leaves, olive oil, salt, sweet paprika, 2 heads of garlic, 3 ñoras, 2 bunches of garlic, 1 bunch of mint and water.
  • Elaboration: We start by soaking the day before and in two different bowls, the peeled beans and peeled beans. Half an hour before starting, approximately, we soak the ñoras. In a large casserole, we put water on the fire and when it boils, we add the colleja leaves, the chard and the almortas. We let them boil slightly and, afterwards, we rinse them with cold water and drain them well, squeezing them with our hands to help them release as much water as possible. We put the casserole back on the fire with the drained vegetables and the peeled beans, a ladle of olive oil, salt, a spoonful of sweet paprika, the chopped dried and tender garlic, the meat of the ñoras and the minced mint leaves . We cover everything with water, stir carefully and let it simmer for an hour and a half, approximately, until everything is well integrated. The amounts of oil and paprika are indicative, it is best to add them little by little, try it and if it seems to us that they are not enough, add a little more, always being careful not to overdo it.

More details in the full recipe

Battered chard stalks

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  • Ingredients: 4 chard stalks, 100 g of wheat flour, 2 eggs, salt, sunflower oil for frying
  • Elaboration: To prepare the stems, we separate the part of the stalk from the leaf. With the help of a lace we remove the threads from the surface, making a small incision and pulling. We wash them, chop them to the desired size and cook in salted water for about 30 minutes or until they are al dente, it will depend on the thickness of each stalk. Carefully place in a drainer and dry each chard stalk with kitchen paper. Heat abundant olive oil in a frying pan. We pass each piece through flour, removing the excess, and through beaten egg with a pinch of salt. Fry over medium heat until golden. We drain on absorbent paper and serve freshly made, although they are also very good cold.

More details in the full recipe

Potatoes stuffed with chard and cod

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  • Ingredients: 4 potatoes 1 bunch of fresh spinach, 100 ml liquid cream, 150 g gruyère cheese, 1 garlic clove, extra virgin olive oil, ground nutmeg, salt and ground black pepper.
  • Elaboration: We start by preheating the oven to 180ºC. We wash the potatoes under the tap, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them on a tray that can be baked. We roast them for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, we cook the chard for 10 minutes, when they are ready we drain them and chop them finely. We reserve them. When the potatoes are ready, we cut the upper part of each one lengthwise and with a teaspoon we take out, taking care not to pierce the skin, the pulp of the potato and put it in a bowl, crushing it with a fork. We reserve it. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and brown the minced garlic. Add the chard, the potato pulp and a splash of liquid cream. Season with salt and add pepper and nutmeg. Fill the potatoes with this mixture and sprinkle with the grated Gruyère cheese. Finally, gratin in the oven for 5 minutes and serve.

More details in the full recipe

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