It’s a hardy plant, Swiss chard. It’s less finicky in the garden than spinach and milder in flavor than kale. Even apartment dwellers can grow a pot of chard and that pot of chard will provide food for months. In past years, I’ve harvested chard from one planting for an entire summer season. Swiss chard recipes are in high demand around here when it’s abundant, so I’ve compiled some good ones for you here, along with information on growing and harvesting chard.
Growing Swiss Chard
Okay, this is what I want you to do: go get some Swiss chard seeds. And a pot. It doesn’t have to be a fancy pot, or a very big one. (The one you see below is about 12″ in diameter and came from a garage sale.) Fill the pot with soil. Bury five or six Swiss chard seeds – spaced equally – under half an inch of soil. Sprinkle with water daily. The first sprouts should appear within a week. You’ll likely need to water the pot daily, depending upon your weather. It couldn’t be easier.
And here’s a bonus: Swiss chard is beautiful. Really, really beautiful. So it makes a great addition to flower beds, making for an edible flower garden that will sneak past your homeowners association.
Swiss chard is a biennial, which means that it will often provide a second year of growth for you with no extra work. If your chard plant goes to seed, you’ll need to start fresh, since the greens turn bitter. [Here’s a whole list of other plants pretty enough to fool your homeowners association.]
Even novice gardeners can handle growing Swiss chard. Go on now. Get your hands dirty!
How to harvest Swiss Chard
When leaves reach about 4-6″ tall, you can start harvesting what farmers market growers call “baby chard.” You’ll do so by cutting off just a few of the outer leaves on each plant, allowing the plants to continue producing. As the plants get more robust, you can harvest more leaves – just make sure to always leave at least several leaves growing on each plant. Use scissors to cut leaf stems near the base of each plant.
Easy Ways to Use Swiss Chard
- Saute the greens as you would spinach.
- Chiffonade and stir several leaves into an egg scramble or frittata.
- Cook the stems like asparagus.
- Add to fresh green salads.
- Add a few leaves to your morning fruit smoothie.
- Chop the chard finely and add to soups or marinara sauce.
- Dice the raw stalks and add to tuna salad instead of celery.
Swiss Chard Recipes
- Baked Swiss Chard Stems with Parmesan [Kalyn’s Kitchen]
- Creamed Swiss Chard with Back Bacon [Farm Fresh Feasts]
- Black-eyed Pea and Swiss Chard Stew [Frugal Kiwi]
- Swiss Chard Slaw with Creamy Avocado Dressing [The Kitchn]
- Spicy Pickled Swiss Chard Stems [Heartbeet Kitchen]
- Chard Leaves Stuffed with Rice and Herbs [New York Times]
- Swiss Chard Gratin [Feed Me Phoebe]
- Rainbow Chard Korean Pancake [Yes, More Please!]
- Swiss Chard Pesto [Lou Lou Biscuit]
- Swiss Chard Rolls [Meet the Shannons]
- Cheesy Tortellini Casserole [Simply Recipes]
- Baked Potato Cakes with Chard [Eatwell 101]
- Rainbow Pizza [Farm Fresh Feasts]
- Cider Braised Swiss Chard with Apples [Dr. Karen S. Lee]
- Smoked Gouda Mushroom Chard Burger [Hot for Food]
- Swiss Chard, Fennel, and Sausage Pasta [Gather and Dine]
- Swiss Chard, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Tart [Tartelette]
- Moroccan Red Lentil Soup [Feed me Phoebe]
- Green Soup [Laura Miller]
- Potatoes in Garlicky Chard Broth [Scaling Back Blog]
- Rustic Swiss Chard Tart [Recipe.com]
- Swiss Chard Quiche [Martha Stewart]
- Polenta with White Cheddar, Chard, and Mushrooms [Williams Sonoma]
- Grilled Cheese Crepes with Chard and Dill [A Couple Cooks]
- Spring Vegetable Rigatoni Bake [Eats Well with Others]
- Swiss Chard Hash [Farm Fresh Feasts]
- Kielbasa Sausage and Vegetable Soup [The Rising Spoon]
- Ten Healthy Swiss Chard Recipes [Kalyn’s Kitchen]
- Sausage and Swiss Chard Strata [Martha Stewart]
- French Swiss Chard Tart [Gourmande in the Kitchen]
- Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onions [Studio Botanica]
- Rustic Polenta Casserole [Oh My Veggies]
- Rainbow Chard and Cheddar Souffle [Seasons in Vermont]
- Swiss Chard and Mushroom Galette [Epicurious]
- Shredded Chard and Cabbage Salad [Steele House Kitchen]
- Hearty Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup [The Healthy Maven]
- Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms [Salt and Lavender]
- 10-Minute Sautéed Greens [Live Simply]
- Lentil Dal with Hearty Greens [The Kitchn]
- Mini Polenta Pizzas [Established California]
- Croatian Swiss Chard [Food.com]
- Swiss Chard, Bacon, and Gruyere Tart [Delicious]
- Pinto Bean and Swiss Chard Burritos [Cook Like a Champion]
- Swiss Chard Chips [Just a Little Bit of Bacon]
- Quinoa and Chard Spring Rolls [BetsyLife]
- Swiss Chard and Golden Beet Frittata [Healthy Nibbles and Bits]
- Braised Greens [Health-Bent]
- Mexican Lentil and Chard Breakfast Casserole [Healthy Aperture]
- Swiss Chard Tart with Ham [Farm Fresh Feasts]
- Swiss Chard and Mushroom Frittata [This is So Good]
- Mediterranean Risotto with Chard [Studio Botanica]
- A collection of more Swiss chard recipes [Farm Fresh Feasts]
Need more Swiss chard recipes? Consider using Swiss chard in recipes that call for kale. It will do just fine.