Taste the Rainbow

I think I have just discovered what could possibly be the prettiest vegetable ever.

This rainbow chard came in my veggie bag for the week and I have been just enthralled with it—you know, opening and closing the refrigerator door just to gaze at it every couple hours. Doesn’t everyone do that?
However, I had no idea what to do with it and that was a problem. How does one eat chard? Certainly not raw? It seemed like it might be bitter. I did a little google research and then made up my own way….when in doubt, saute.
I chopped the stalks and then separated the leaves, tearing them into medium sized pieces.
I love anything pink. So there.
And then I heated up a wee bit of olive oil in my cast iron
Don’t mind my gross tea kettle. I either need to polish it or get a new one. This was a thrift store find in college.
Once the oil was hot, I dropped in the stalks and gazed in awe
The red looks just like rhubarb! Mmmmm (note to self: make strawberry rhubarb pie. Stat)
I felt myself getting frisky so I then added a chopped summer squash to the mix. Just for fun.
And continued to saute until tender. After about six minutes, I added the leaves!
Mmmmm manatee leaves!
Cooked it down for a few minutes and then finished off with a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Funny story about this lemon. Last weekend when I went to Wisconsin I sat next to the cutest old lady on the face of the earth. Naturally, we became best friends and bonded over our love of vegetables, quilts and books. As the plane was landing she gave me a jumbo lemon from her garden. Bless her!
Deeeeeelicious! I also had baked sweet potato rounds (with cayenne and sea salt) and a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger with swiss cheese.
Uhhh yeah…..the veggie burger? Not so much. I’d never had this brand before and I wasn’t impressed. I bought them because they were the cheapest and my burger totally fell apart!!! I’m going to finish the box, obviously, but then revert back to Amy’s…the tried and true. But, look at the rainbow chard! It’s so purdy.
This was the perfect post-sweaty yoga dinner that I could muster up. I went to a 4:00-5:30 power class and I forgot how much I adored jumping chairs and boat pose. Not. Before I left I had some plain yogurt with cinnamon, agave and pear slices to get me through:
I’m playing house tonight and unpacking everything I can! This is the stage in moving that I LOVE.
Moving to a new place is all about setting up your kitchen and color coordinating your closet, obviously.

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  • nicole
    May 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    you can DEFINITELY eat chard raw!! yum yum yum i put it in salad all the time–try a tiny bit to see if you like it. i am fond of more bitter foods (kale, COFFEE, etc), so I don’t think it’s bitter at all, but i am sure it is imaginable that people would find it to be less palatable than i do.

  • kellyO
    May 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Looks delicious. Have a great night unpacking. Give Dexter a squeeze!

  • saramariesue
    May 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Delicious! And I agree…setting up the kitchen is the best part!!

  • saramariesue
    May 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Delicious! And I agree…setting up the kitchen is the best part!!

  • Courtney Craig
    May 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I agree that Dr. Praegger’s is the worst…from a true vegetarian! Totally falls apart on me too. I always throw the stems of the Swiss chard away. Next time I’ll cook it up too. Last time I cooked my S.C. leaves with Sesame Oil & Soy sauce = Yum!

  • Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl
    May 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I’m with Nicole – I LOVE rainbow chard raw. In fact, I’ve been drinking it in my juices/smoothies a LOT lately.

    Here’s the link (with pics, recipe, and instructions):

    Rainbow Grass Juice Recipe

    If you add less liquid, it’s a smoothie, but the amount of liquid I used turns it into a juice consistency (which is what I wanted at the time). It has Amazing Grass in it so you might just love it! πŸ˜‰

    And tomorrow for Meatless Monday, I’m posting a recipe I concocted using raw rainbow chard (from my garden!).

    I do hope you’ll try it raw, Jenna – it’s fantabulous, in my opinion. And the smaller the leaves, the more delish, I’ve found. πŸ˜€

  • eatmovelove
    May 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up about the Dr. Praeger’s…I’ve seen and wondered if they’re worth it.
    Totally like rhubarb! Does it taste as sweet though?!

  • Rachael
    May 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Chard is my favorite – I grow an heirloom variety that has bright purple stems – gorgeous (I think the stems might be my favorite part – I eat them chopped up in salads). Actually, chard is my go-to green of choice as a salad base – I just cut it into really fine ribbons, and massage it as you would kale.
    Love the blanket dinner – furniture is very unnecessary.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    May 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I bought some rainbow chard at the farmer’s market this morning and I can’t wait to use it!! I loooove the beautiful colors and love the way chard tastes!

  • Mo
    May 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Ahhh, I love chard. It’s beautiful, tasty, and obviously good for you. I like sautΓ©ing it in a teensy bit of oil with some garlic. πŸ™‚

  • Jennu
    May 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Organizing everything is mine! I can’t wait to move again:)

  • Ameena
    May 16, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Dr. Praeger’s are totally overrated and greasy. Plus they have soy in them so I had to stop eating them because they made me break out!

    Try Trader Joe’s Veggie Masala burgers…they are THE BEST.

  • Amanda
    May 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Jenna! The chard is so pretty…almost too pretty to eat! (Well, maybe not :-)). Anyway, I actually like Dr. Praeger’s burgers a lot, mainly because there’s no funky ingredients in them which is a plus. However, they do fall apart very easily!

  • ashleigh
    May 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I love anything pink too πŸ™‚ Have fun unpacking and setting up the new place!

  • Samantha @ Food Edu
    May 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I actually prefer chard raw. I sauteed some like so a week or two back and I didn’t love it. Mine also came in my CSA and I was a bit puzzed on how to use it. I also tried the sautee method with some baby bok choy I got and it was much better–I recommend it if you get some in yours!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    May 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    oooh I have never tried chard before – looks delightful though!

  • katerina
    May 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I got some swiss chard in my box this week too! I sauteed it up with garlic lemon and chili flakes then tossed it with beaten eggs and hot spaghetti. A vegetarian “carbonara” if you will. So good! I am posting the recipe tomorrow but that is the gist πŸ™‚

  • SallyH @ acountablelife.wordpress.com
    May 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Huh. I just tried Dr. Praeger’s today and like them! I thought it had a fresh taste and slightly sweet taste and held together after broiled (crispy edges!) and in a sandwich thin. I hate so many of the fake burgers, plus I need them vegan but so many have dairy or whey (the TJ’s Masala burger).

  • Claire
    May 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Love chard so much! It really isn’t that bitter raw and sometimes wrap some veggies in the big leaves. But, I agree that it is just soo tasty simply sauteed. Sounds like fun playing house. night lady!

  • Krystina
    May 16, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Rainbow chard is one of the only greens that I find myself not liking as much. It’s not bad, and I’ll eat it if put in front of me, but it’s definitely not my preferred green. It is mighty purdy, though.

  • Rachel
    May 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    I’m kind of scared of cooking chard because the ONE time I tried, it was a gross, watery, mushy mess. I’ve conquered kale and collards and could saute those with my eyes closed (well… kind of) but chard is still intimidating. I really appreciate your step by step photos because it tempts me to try again!

  • Kim
    May 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I like the Dr. Praeger’s burgers, but they do fall apart so I usually just scramble one with some spicy sauce, then squish it down in the pan so the outside gets crispy. I like the California burgers better than the Texas burgers, not sure which one you chose.

  • jeannie
    May 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Must find rainbow chard! Looks yum! And now that I’m getting more into cooking–finally busted out the food processor that was sent 3000 miles–I think I need a cast iron pan. The whole “seasoned” thing kind of scared me. What is a good brand? Can you buy a bad cast iron pan/pot?

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth)
    May 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Oh, rainbow chard! I cannot resist the rainbow when I go to the store and it’s sitting next to regular ol’ chard. I mean, rainbow greens or green greens? Isn’t even a question. I’ve eaten chard raw, but I’m enjoying it cooked way more often lately. I think the recipe is Alicia Silverstone’s but I could be completely wrong. It’s chard, olive oil, currants, pine nuts and balsamic vinegar. OMG, it’s so darn good. The balsamic really cuts the bitter and makes it super awesome. Of course, the nuts and currants just add the perfect balance of sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy. Okay, got to stop talking about it…but you should definitely try it. πŸ™‚

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    May 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I thought that was rhubarb before you said it was rainbow chard! Other than strawberry and rhubarb pie, do you have any good rhubarb recipes!? I have some in my fridge and I’ve NO idea what to do with it…

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)
    May 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    That is beautiful! I had “heard” of rainbow chard before but never actually seen it. looks great.

  • johanna
    May 17, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Chard in Germany is used pretty much comparably to spinach, sauteed, in lasagnes, in salads, and even as a substitute in smoothies aka. your green monsters.

  • rolex daytona
    May 17, 2010 at 12:26 am

    I like the California burgers better than the Texas burgers, not sure which one you chose.

  • Lynna
    May 17, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Roasted rainbow chard!!!! Cut into pieces, toss with olive oil and sea salt and roast…sprinkle with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar before serving…YUM!!!!!

  • Tamizn
    May 17, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Yay I love chard its so pretty and so tasty! x x

  • Christie {Honoring Health}
    May 17, 2010 at 3:12 am

    So weird. I JUST published a post about swiss chard, like, as in 10 minutes ago. My CSA has been banging it out this year but I really like it!

  • Lisa
    May 17, 2010 at 4:37 am

    That looks delicious!!
    Don’t toss your tea pot, all you need to do, is use baking soda on a damp cloth! that will clean it right up! πŸ™‚

  • Amy D
    May 17, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Can I make a request? Please make more posts like this! I love that you presented a step-by-step instruction of how to cook those veggies. I have never eaten rainbow chard so this was very informative! Oh, and I love baked sweet potatoes w/ cayenne pepper too!

  • diana@mymarblerye
    May 17, 2010 at 4:43 am

    thanks for that “demo”…I’ve seen people eat chard before but never knew the “how tos”

  • rachael
    May 17, 2010 at 5:01 am

    i love chard and your csa chard looks especially beautiful! raw chard actually isn’t bad, I use it in smoothies and sandwiches and it works well in place of lettuce for a lettuce wrap.

  • Ashley
    May 17, 2010 at 5:03 am

    I’ve been interested in rainbow chard for a while! I’m going to have to get sone next weekend at the farmers market πŸ™‚ in the meantime I’m going to have to research some good recipes

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    May 17, 2010 at 5:19 am

    That rainbow chard is beautiful! I love simple veggie sautees. So satisfying and healthy to boot!


  • Amanda
    May 17, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Oh My God! We totally have the same tea kettle! That is too funny πŸ™‚ Mine was also purchased in a thrift store not that long ago. I was thinking to myself this very morning when I was boiling water for my french press that I either need to clean mine again or purchase a new one. Hope you have a lovely morning and great afternoon! Love the post!

  • Abby
    May 17, 2010 at 5:41 am

    I actually thought that was rhubarb in the first shot–something that is taking over my garden at the moment. However, your little concoction looks delicious, minus the crap burger and sub in the Amy’s (my girl never lets me down.)

    Because I’m into purdy colors as well, I may just have to venture into the realm of chard. And yes, I have gone back and just stared at a food in my fridge/something I’ve made just because I think I like looking at it. We may be freaks, but we are happy freaks, my foodie friend.

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit]
    May 17, 2010 at 5:42 am

    I have a Costco sized box of Dr. Praeger burgers that I’ve been trying to work through. Mine fall apart too and I hate the flavor!

  • Katalina @ GreenLivingNewYork
    May 17, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Raw chard is also vert good, I always make summer salads with chard, radish, cucumbers, pomegranate arils and grapefruit, its delicious!! πŸ™‚ you should give it a try, i think you will like it!

  • Beth
    May 17, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Mmmm, I love chard. I grow lots of it in my garden, and even my kids love it.

    I also like your teakettle. It looks well-loved.

  • Ilana
    May 17, 2010 at 5:54 am

    rainbow chard IS gorgeous.
    and yes, organizing the closet wins.

  • Marina
    May 17, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I love swiss chard! Try steaming it, and then mixing with some cooked potatoes, olive oil and garlic. Yummy side dish!

  • Janelle
    May 17, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Chard IS so pretty – and awesome to eat! Probably one of my favorite greens. We make “Eggs in a nest” (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – you would probably love that book if you haven’t read it!) and it is a hit with everyone in the family – from my 21 month old to my meat-lovin husband!
    recipe on this site: http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    May 17, 2010 at 6:07 am

    I’ve eaten chard at restaurants but never cooked it. How gorgeous!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething
    May 17, 2010 at 6:08 am

    i agree when in doubt saute! it looks like it turned out good. i like dr. praegars but they are a bit crumbly. i have a great wine giveaway on my blog today-thought you might like it! have a good monday πŸ™‚

  • Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
    May 17, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Mmmmm, I’ve never tried rainbow chard (or any kind of chard for that matter), but it looks delicious the way that you cooked it there! πŸ™‚
    And aren’t sweet potatoes fabulous? I swear I could eat them daily. I actually just picked some up at the store yesterday to try in a sweet potato risotto dish πŸ˜›

  • Alex
    May 17, 2010 at 6:28 am

    I love rainbow chard. It’s also really good with a little bit of goat cheese on top and lots of cracked pepper. Mmm. Such simple pleasures in leafy greens.

  • Angharad
    May 17, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Yes. Yes it is. I love playing house when I move somewhere new! So fun.
    I’ve also never had rainbow chard before but it totally looks like rhubarb, which I’ve been cooking with for the past week. Yum.

  • Daisy
    May 17, 2010 at 6:53 am

    nice job on the rainbow chard. just beautiful. love the lemon story.

  • Cyclist Kate
    May 17, 2010 at 6:56 am

    A tip for cleaning the tea kettle (I think they all get gross like that, sitting on the stove next to splattering oil): put it in a small plastic garbage bag, cover it with paper towels, and dump ammonia all over it to wet the towels. Tie up the bag and leave it outside overnight. In the morning (wearing gloves!) take it out and rinse it. All the gunk should come off no problem.

    This is my favorite cleaning trick! I use it on all that kitchen stuff that tends to get a little gnarly–just not non-stick bakeware.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    May 17, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I can’t believe you’ve never had chard before! You of all people πŸ™‚ My mom grew it in her garden when I was little and we would have it sauteed with a little bit of butter on top.

  • Lolly
    May 17, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I would be really curious to know what you thought of the chard. I have so tried to love it but can’t–it has a sweetness to it that i just cannot reconcile with “greens.” I’ve tried to savory it up by sauteeing in evoo & garlic, and still, I taste the sweetness. I much prefer kale. Enjoy your CSA–I loved mine while I participated! So worth it and so great to support the local responsible agriculture!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    May 17, 2010 at 7:19 am

    YUM! i keep meaning to try rainbow chard but get scurred every time…i think i might just have to try it your way!

  • Kait
    May 17, 2010 at 7:33 am

    The veggies look beautiful and tasty! I’ve never had them before, but this makes me want to try them now!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    May 17, 2010 at 7:46 am

    aw, i like your kettle. it has character! chipped mugs and rusty old kettles are the best way to make and drink tea i think :).

  • Anne @ Your Kind of Salad
    May 17, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Oh no, I LOVE Dr. Praeger burgers! I don’t think of them as burgers, more like a veggie protein. I like to smush them (since you’re right, they do not hold their shape) with avocado and cheese and put it all into a wrap – much easier to eat! Enjoy your CSA veggies, they look delicious!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    May 17, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Every time I see chard used it is in a recipe but I never know what it looks like. Now I do πŸ™‚

  • Debbie
    May 17, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Loved “LOVED” your sweet lemon story! Your dish looks amazing too.

    The stuff from our home (that sold) in NY arrives this week. We’re south of you in San Diego, CA! I can’t wait to set up my kitchen too! I’m not looking forward to all the unpacking but so excited to get us all settled in.

    Love and Blessings ~ Debbie

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    May 17, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I wish I could grow lemons in my garden! The Midwest does have it’s perks though….like growing swiss chard all spring and fall. Your dish looks lovely!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    May 17, 2010 at 9:10 am

    YUM!! Love chard and the colors look esp beautiful against the counter color. I go on sites like epicurious.com for recipes for vegs like chard….amazing what come up with.

    Speaking of cooking–last night rented and watched a bunch of Anthony Bourdain ‘No Reservations’ vids–trips to Paris, French Polynesia, Brazil, Borneo, Iceland, etc. So inspiring. He’s just so cool!

  • Alix
    May 17, 2010 at 9:33 am

    that chard is so interesting! thanks for sharing!! http://www.theskinnyondietitians.com

  • Sarah
    May 17, 2010 at 10:19 am

    mmmmm that looks delicious!

    i read everything about you deciding to change your bike race distance and the negative comments and i just wanted to say i think it is amazing you are doing 60 miles! you didn’t drop out so who cares! they were so horrible things people said to you and i hope you don’t take them to heart! all of us who read this site don’t really know you or your whole life and it is not our place to judge you! hope you do amazing at the race!!!!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    May 17, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I have never had rainbow chard but I have had Swiss chard and was not a fan. Does it taste any different?

  • Corinne (breathe and savor)
    May 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

    aw that lemon story warmed my heart!:)

  • Courtney
    May 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of Dr Praegers either…too mushy! I feel its my duty to tell you about my favorite veggie burgers though….theyre that good! I take the MorningStar brand garden vegetable burgers and put them in the toaster (not toaster over, the literal toaster!) for two to three “rounds”. They come out crispy on the outside and soooooo good!

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    May 17, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    That saute looks delicious and gorgeous!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale
    May 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I make swiss chard a lot and sauteing it is the best method by far. Try adding some garlic next time… it really complements the flavor of the greens!

  • Lauri
    May 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Hiya!! LOVE swiss chard! It has to be one of the PRETTIEST veggies! I bought some a the market a few weeks ago and sauteed it the way it was recommended by the seller–> With onion, garlic and black eyed peas! SO GOOD!!

  • Caroline
    May 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I love that one of the buildings on UGA’s co-op building has rainbow chard growing along the front just for its beauty! I might have to steal some soon πŸ™‚

  • Dynamics
    January 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I know I am kind of late but I just received my CSA box and it had rainbow chard. I googled it and found an amazing soup recipe. It was sooooooo good. I am not sure I am supposed to post links. If not, feel free to delete me. I will not get offended. http://www.thecookingphotographer.com/2010/06/rainbow-chard-carrot-and-cannelloni.html