Technique: How to prepare Swiss Chard
Feb 29, 2012, Updated Jan 09, 2023
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Like any green, leafy vegetable, Swiss chard requires a good rinse before it is trimmed. I like to dunk chard in a deep bowl of cold water, swish it around, pull it back out and do the same again in a fresh bowl of water. Then pat it dry gently with a clean kitchen towel.
To trim the green leafy-ness from the stalk, lay the leaf flat on your work surface. Cut the stalk out by outlining it with the point of your long, sharp chef’s knife. Cut the two strips apart where they are connected, then cut those strips into four strips lengthwise. The goal here is to make pieces of about 1” for our soup. Once all of the stalks have been trimmed away and you have a pile of long leafy strips, line those up with your guiding hand and curl your fingertips of that hand (“the claw”) so you don’t cut them. Then slice away 1” pieces.
Swiss Chard stalks are beautiful, and edible—even though we aren’t using them in our soup this week, you can sauté them with olive oil and garlic, with onions or leeks, and enjoy a plate of flavorful good-for-you. You’re going to feel so righteous after eating your chard, and even more so after eating bowl classic Lebanese lentil soup tomorrow, chock full of chard and other deeply satisfying flavors.