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.