With large, crinkly green leaves and fleshy stems that are commonly creamy white but also red or golden, chard is often cooked as two vegetables. The leaves are like spinach in flavour, but more robust in texture and is a good source of folate, fibre and vitamins A and C. Native to the Mediterranean, its many types include swiss chard, ruby chard, silver and seakale beet.
Available in supermarkets all year round, chard should have crisp dark-green leaves and creamy white, fleshy stems. Avoid any with wilted stems or leaves.
Cut off the string holding the swiss chard together and remove and discard any damaged leaves. Trim the white stalks. Store in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag for up to three days.
Wash chard in cold salted water and drain, then shred and add raw to salads.
Slice and use in stir-fries, curries, quiches, soups or as part of a side dish.
Cook chard as briefly as possible to retain maximum nutrient content.