How To Cut, Clean and Store Swiss Chard
Our knife skills series continues with a simple tutorial on how to cut Swiss chard. In this post, I will also show you how to clean chard and tips on the best way to store it.
Table of contents
Swiss Chard Basics: Cutting, Washing and Storage
Today we’re talking all things Chard! Every year I grow Rainbow Chard in my garden so I have gotten quite adept at prepping and storing large quantities of chard. So today I am sharing my top tips on how to prep this leafy green veggie. We’ll go over the best way to chop, wash and store chard.
- If you are new to Swiss Chard, I am happy to introduce you to it because it is super nutritious.
- While it is technically in season in the summer and early fall, it is one of those veggies that is great year-round!
- It’s tasty too! You’ll love the earthy taste and contrast of the crunchy stems and tender leaves. It’s like two veggies in one!
Once you’ve read the below tips for how to clean Swiss Chard, plus prepping your chard you’ll be ready to try one of our Swiss Chard recipes like our Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard. It so easy and great for beginners.
How To Cut Swiss Chard
Pro Tip: Both the leaves and chard stems are edible, but the key to cutting Swiss chard is to cut the stems and leaves separately. They cook at different rates so it is important to separate them.
First, lay the bunch of chard crosswise on the work surface. Cut Stems off at the base of the leaves and set aside.
2. Cut leaves in lengthwise strips and then crosswise into squares.
3. Cut the stems into small pieces, about ½ inch long.
How to wash chopped Swiss Chard
Wash the chopped chard leaves by filling a salad spinner with water, add the leaves and then swish. Lift the basket out leaving any soil or grit behind in the bottom of the salad spinner. Drain away the water and spin dry.
Transfer the leaves out of the basket, and add the stems in. Run cold water over them, swishing to remove any grit. Then lift the basket out of the water and drain away the water. Spin dry or spread on a dry kitchen towel to drain.
How To Store Swiss Chard
Option 1: Keep Leaves and Stems uncut for up to 1 week.
Cut stems at the base of the leaves. If any of the outer leaves are dried and wilted you can follow instructions for how to refresh wilted Chard.
Transfer the leaves and stems to a large resealable plastic bag, press out most of the air and store in produce drawer in the refrigerator. Keep away from fruits that emit ethylene gas such as apples, avocados and melon.
If your chard leaves are very large or you want to store the whole bunch, the best bet is to place the bunch into a plastic grocery bag, then use a second inverted plastic grocery bag over the other side to keep as much of the chard covered with plastic. If exposed to the cold dry air in the refrigerator, the chard leaves will wilt over the course of a couple of days.
Option 2: Cut Leaves and Stems and use within 3 to 4 days
Follow the instructions to cut the leaves and stems described above. Then place the stems into a small baggie or resealable container. Place the cut leaves into a separate large Ziplock bag, produce bag or re-sealable container.
Refrigerate up to 4 days. The stems will start to discolor after a day or two but it will not affect the flavor of them. Inspect to make sure there is no sign of them softening or spoilage.
How To Store Garden-Fresh or Just-Picked Chard
For freshly picked Swiss Chard that you’ll use within 1 day you can wash it and then arrange it in a vase of water like a flower arrangement. This is best when the stems were just cut.
If you are buying from a Farmers’ market and they were harvested several hours before or if it is very hot out and they are starting to wilt, re-cut the bottom of the stems as you would cut flowers. This helps ensure that they will draw water up through the stems.
How To Refresh Wilted Swiss Chard
If the chard leaves are wilted you can place them in a large bowl of room-temperature water to absorb moisture. The chard will take up the water and perk right back up within an hour.
Drain well, then spin dry or hand dry with a clean dry kitchen towel.
Pro Tip: This works best with cold produce and room temp water because the temp change forces more water into the cells. The reverse is true when your Swiss Chard has been out in the hot sun and is wilting. Submerge it into cold water!
Can Chard be frozen?
Yes! Like most other leafy vegetables it is important to blanch Chard in boiling water before freezing it to prevent the naturally occuring enzymes from breaking it down over time. Here’s how to freeze chard:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make a bowl of ice water and set aside.
- Add chard leaves to the boiling water and let cook only until wilted (less than 1 minute.)
- Immediately remove the chard from the water using a slotted spoon or small strainer and plunge into the ice water.
- Drain well and spread out on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid.
- Transfer the Chard to a resealable bag and keep frozen up to 6 months.
Swiss Chard Recipes
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Here’s the steps to cut and wash Swiss Chard leaves. It is important to keep the leaves and stems separate because they cook at different rates.
1 large head Swiss Chard (about 3/4 pound)
- Lay the bunch of chard crosswise on work surface.
- Cut Stems off at the base of the leaves and set aside.
- Cut leaves in lengthwise strips and then crosswise into squares.
- Cut the stems into small pieces, about ½ inch long.
- Wash by filling a salad spinner with water, add the leaves and then swish. Lift the basket out leaving any soil or grit behind in the bottom of the salad spinner. Drain away the water and spin dry.
- Transfer the leaves out of the basket, and add the stems in. Run cold water over them, swishing to remove any grit. Then lift the basket out of the water and drain away the water. Spin dry or spread on a dry kitchen towel to drain.
- Place the stems into a small baggie or resealable container, and place the cut leaves into a separate large Ziplock bag, produce bag or re-sealable container. Refrigerate up to 4 days.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: na
- Category: Vegetable
- Method: Knife Skills
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 7 calories
- Fat: 0 g
- Fiber: .5 g
- Protein: .6 g
Keywords: How to cut swiss chard, how to cut chard, how to wash chard, how to store chard