Rainbow chard is the colourful cousin of silverbeet and beetroot. With pink, white, yellow and red stems and dark green leaves, this vegetable is quick to cook, versatile to use and so nutritious – making it the perfect mealtime go-to.
Look for rainbow chard with freshly cut stems and a variety of colour. The leaves should be bright green and crisp. Avoid bunches with browning ends and limp leaves.
When cooking, treat rainbow chard like two different vegetables– the green leaves and the coloured stalks. Use the leaves as you would spinach or kale. You can add smaller leaves to salad mixes, while the larger leaves are best steamed or sautéed.
For the stalks, make sure to wash them well before thinly slicing, as they may be sandy. You can add sliced raw rainbow chard stalks to salads such as slaws and tabouli. Besides flavour and crunch, they add a great pop of colour.
If you want to use both stems and leaves, start by cooking the sliced stems in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for a few minutes until just softened (don’t over-cook – the stems should have a bit of crunch). Add some torn larger leaves and toss to wilt, followed by the small leaves in the last 30 seconds of cooking. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and top with chilli flakes for a great side dish.