Swiss chard has broad, wavy and wrinkled bronzed green leaves with contrasting crimson red stalks.
Chard is known to be a nutritional powerhouse vegetable packed with vitamins, nutrients and health benefits. Swiss chard contains high levels of vitamins C, K, E, beta-carotene, calcium and the minerals manganese and zinc. As noted, it also contains betalain. Betalain pigments have repeatedly been shown to support activity within the body's detoxification process, activating and processing unwanted toxic substances. Betalains are not heat-stable and longer cooking times can decrease their presence.
Most people do not associate Swiss chard varieties with Switzerland, regardless of the given name. As Swiss chard is native to the Mediterranean region, many recipes and applications are of Mediterranean influence. Swiss chard can be served raw or cooked. It can be sautéed, blanched, stewed, baked, and even grilled. It can be added to salads, pastas, pizza, bruschetta, gratins and soups. The chard stalks are edible and add texture and flavor to the dishes they’re cooked into. Complimentary ingredient pairings include citrus, tomatoes, garlic, chickpeas, white beans, aged and melting cheeses, cream, mushrooms, bacon, fennel and herbs such as basil, tarragon and chervil.