Swiss chard, also known simply as chard, is a beet that is grown for its deep green leaves instead of its root. Swiss chard is highly nutritious and is a good source of several vitamins. It also contains more minerals than most other greens and is very high in fiber.
Before you cook the chard, you’ll need to wash it. The first thing you should do is wash it well, by rinsing it in a sink full of cold water. You can even drain the water and repeat, unless the chard is free of dirt. If you got the chard at a farmers’ market, it will be extra fresh and more likely to have dirt on it, so wash thoroughly. Don’t wash the chard until right before you’re going to cook it, or it will wilt.
Decide whether to separate the chard or leave it whole. Small leaves of Swiss chard can be left whole or added to salad, and larger leaves with thin ribs can also be left whole for cooking. But if you’re cooking Swiss chard with thick ribs, then you should separate the ribs from the leaves by tearing the leaves away from the ribs, because the ribs will need to cook for a few more minutes since they are tougher than the leaves.
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