Red Swiss chard is available year-round.
When selecting Red Swiss chard, look for fresh, firm leaves. Avoid any with wilted or discolored leaves. To store, wrap in a damp paper towel and refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to four days. Chard can also be frozen; blanch the leaves and stalks before freezing them.
Red Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and magnesium as well as dietary fiber, iron, calcium and potassium. It also contains folate, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that help protect against disease.
Red Swiss chard can be prepared many ways including steaming, simmering, sautéing and braising. The stalks can be cooked separately, as their texture is coarser than the leaves. To prepare Red Swiss chard, trim off the bottom of the stalk and discard any wilted or discolored leaves. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove dirt and sand. Cut away any tough portions of stems before cooking.
Cooked Red Swiss chard can be used in salads, soups, frittatas, omelets, pastas and risottos. It works well with garlic, onions, olive oil and tomatoes; flavors such as oregano, basil and parsley are also good complements.
Red Swiss chard is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be served as a side dish, added to soups, stews and stir-fries, or included in stuffings for poultry or vegetables. The leaves can also be stuffed with other ingredients such as cheese and herbs and baked into pies or casseroles. Additionally, the cooked leaves can be pureed into sauces and pestos.