Also commonly called “Swiss chard,” this leafy green is not from Switzerland at all, but was given its scientific name by Swiss botanist, Karl Heinrich Emil Koch. The French called it “carde,” because chard’s stalks have a similar appearance to cardoons.

Chard is a tall vegetable, with a thick, crunchy stalk. Chard has wide, fan-like leaves attached to the stalk, which come in a variety of colors including white, red, yellow and orange. Select chard with stalks that look crisp. To remove any sand or soil between the leaves, immerse them in a bowl of cool water. Unwashed chard can be stored in a plastic bag inside the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Chard can be eaten raw, but cooking chard makes it sweeter and less bitter. Don’t cook chard in an aluminum pot; the vegetable has oxalates, or acids that will react with the metal and cause the pot to discolor. Blanch chard to retain the vibrant color, then add it to soups, stews, and stir-fries.

In Season

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Recipes with Chard

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chard with Tapenade Dressing

Olivier Said, Kitchen on Fire

Acorn Squash, Brown Rice, and Winter Greens Soup

Charles Vollmar, Epicurean Exchange

Lebanese Chard Stalk Hummus

Tara Duggan, Root-to-Stalk Cooking

Sweet Potato Stew with Greens

Nalini Mehta, Route to India

Articles about Chard

July 25, 2014

The Great Tomato Debate

Confused by terms like heirloom, open-pollinated, hybrid, and GMO? We’ll help you sort them out.

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »