Swiss chard is a very easy to grow leafy green vegetable. Both the leaves and the stalks are edible. It can be eaten raw in salads and on sandwiches. You can also add it to soups. It’s fairly expensive at the grocery store, but really easy (and inexpensive!) to grow at home. I have grown it in my front yard among the flower beds, and no one ever suspected I had something edible there. Swiss chard grows year round where I live; it can handle temperatures of 15ºF, so it may grow in winter where you live, too!
Our favorite way to eat Swiss chard is to steam it.
Cut a lot of leaves at the base of each. You need a lot because it steams down to very little. Harvest just the outer leaves; Swiss chard will keep producing throughout the growing season. Wash the chard to get rid of any tiny bugs and dirt. I will cook all of the chard on the cutting board and in the basket for one night.
Cut the stems into bite-size pieces, and cut the leaves across in about the same width (unless you want it smaller). The stems will retain their size when cooking, but the leaves will shrink down.
Put the lid on; it’s okay if the chard sticks up a little above the height of the pot.
It will go down as it cooks.
Steam it on high for about 45 minutes (it will be less time if you are cooking less). I check it by lifting the lid and sticking a fork into the stems; when they are soft enough to eat, it’s done.
I like to eat it with lemon juice squeezed on top, sprinkled with some salt and pepper,
and a little butter.
My husband prefers it with mayo on top, and my daughter likes it with brown sugar and butter.
If this is your first time having it, go with the lemon juice.