Cooking and preserving Swiss Chard Silver / White


In a recent post I talked about Swiss Chard White / Silver as a perennial plant you can eat. I received some messages about this posts and questions about how to use it. How best to eat it and cook with it, also how to preserve it. 

I thought I would share some of the ways I use and preserve Swiss Chard at the moment and some of the ways in which I plan to try this year. 

Some people choose to pick the whole plant when picking chard, i don't do this. I pick it as a 'cut and come again' by this i mean i just take as many pieces as i want to use at a time and leave the plant in the ground to continue growing. To do this you could use snippers, a knife or carefully rip the stalks off near the base. When i pick the chard i give it a wash, i then prepare it and store it so it is ready to use, there are a few ways i do this. 

Most often i finely chop the leaves, to do this I wrap them up folding them inwards first and then the top in slightly then finely chop until i get to the stalk. 

It looks a little like this once chopped. I put the chopped leaves to one side of my storage container and move on to chopping the stalks. Some people don't like the stalks, they find them too hard to eat but we love them and use them in a similar way to celery. 

Once all the chard is chopped and in my storage container i pop it in the fridge and it can last for at least 7 days like this, with a lid on in the fridge. You can also store swiss chard in the freezer. When i do this i put them in two different storage bags. The stalks i put in a bag and then put straight in the freezer to take our portions as and when needed. The leaves though it is recommended you blanch before freezing and are best use in cooking after being frozen, they are not so good raw in salads after freezing. 

There are many ways that we use the swiss chard, we use the leaves and the stalks in different ways and that is why i store them on separate sides of my containers when in the fidge. 

The Leaves 
The leaves we treat a little like we do spinach, we use them in a variety of ways. They are great for using raw in salads. We add them to stir frys. We also cook them as an alternative to cabbage leaves, they go well with a roast.

The Stalk
As i mentioned previously the stalk we treat a little like celery. We eat it raw in salads. It can be added to stews, soups and casseroles. It is also really nice pickled. This year i will be pickling and preserving some swiss chard to see how long it lasts and what it is like pickled for longer. 

If you want to give growing Swiss Chard White / Silver a go then i would recommend trying these seeds: 

These are by 'Premier Seeds' 

These are by 'Johnsons' 

Both options are very affordable and remember that it is perennial so if you look after them they will come back again the following year with new growth that you can enjoy. 

I'd love to hear how you use Swiss Chard, let me know in the comments.


Book recommendations...