Leaves almost taking a purplish hueLeaves almost taking a purplish hue
Older leaves starting to turn redOlder leaves starting to turn red
Dramatic chard lightingDramatic chard lighting
A little bit older, and starting to show some darkeningA little bit older, and starting to show some darkening
Young, bright green chardYoung, bright green chard
Lovely red veinsLovely red veins
  • Leaves almost taking a purplish hue
  • Older leaves starting to turn red
  • Dramatic chard lighting
  • A little bit older, and starting to show some darkening
  • Young, bright green chard
  • Lovely red veins

We grow a lovely red-stemmed variety of Swiss chard called Ruby Red or Rhubarb Chard. The stuff is unstoppable. Neither frost nor record summer heat seem to deter it. It just loves to be cut. The more you cut it, the more it grows back.

One of the interesting features of this variety (and maybe chard in general) is the changes in colour it displays over time. I think it’s mostly due to the leaves’ age, but temperature may also be a factor.

The leaves always start out bright green, with red or pinkish stems. As the leaves age, though, they darken, turning a dark red colour, and finally become a colour closer to purple. The texture of the leaves changes, too, becoming less soft and more fragile or brittle over time.

We’ve learned to love Swiss chard. We use it generously in Deborah Madison’s Chard and Onion Omelet (Trouchia) recipe, which has become a favourite. It’s fairly rare for me to repeat recipes, but I have made this trouchia many, many times.

And beyond tasting good, Swiss chard is so easy to grow. It’s a miracle vegetable.

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