Hand drawn image of Chard


Beta vulgaris var. cicla

Succulent dark green leaves - think spinach, but sweeter and more robust. Chard is full of earthy flavour and holds its texture well when cooked. The stalks can be eaten too, they have a wonderful crunch – they just need longer to cook than the leaves.

Image of Chard being produced

In the kitchen


The leaves are fairly robust and sit somewhere between spinach and the lighter of the kales. You’ll still want to use it up within 3-4 days. Don’t prepare your chard until you intend to cook it as the leaves and stalks deteriorate more quickly when divided.

Prep & Cooking tips

Strip the leaves from the stalks as the stalks need slightly longer. You can lightly fry or blanch the stalks until tender before adding the leaves to wilt in the final few minutes.

Some people prefer to use the leaves only, in much the same way as you would spinach - good wilted into soups, curries or risottos. The stalks can be diced and added to a mix of diced onions, carrots and celery as a base for soups and stews.

Easy ideas

  1. Lemon & nutmeg Gently cook the stalks in a little olive oil until tender. If this takes a while then you may need to add a dash of water to stop them catching. Add the leaves to wilt. Season with a little salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg to your taste. At the last minute add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well and serve immediately.

  2. Garlic & cream Gently fry the stalks in butter for a few mins. Add a clove or 2 of chopped garlic and continue to cook for a few more mins, until it is fragrant but not burning. Add the leaves and wilt until tender. Pour in 50ml double cream and let it bubble for a few more mins. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Chilli, ginger and soy Fry the stalks gently in sesame oil with some diced shallot, ginger, garlic and chilli for 3-4 mins. Add the leaves and a pinch of salt and wilt for a few more mins. Dress with soy sauce to your taste.

Goes well with

Asian flavours (Chilli, Ginger, Sesame, Soy sauce)

Cheese (Ricotta, Feta)

Dairy (Butter, Cream, Crème fraîche)

Dried fruit (Raisins, Currants)

Meat (Pork, Bacon, Chorizo, Ham)

Spices (Cayenne, Chilli, Mace, Nutmeg, Paprika)




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