The most beautiful of the chard varieties, rainbow chard arrives at the farmers market in a glorious palate of fall colors—fiery oranges, bold pinkish-reds, bright yellows and milky whites.  Although it is often called “Swiss” chard after the 19th century botanist who assigned the plant its scientific name, chard is native to the Mediterranean, and chard has been grown and eaten along the Mediterranean for thousands of years.  The ancient Greeks and Romans valued chard for its healing properties and Aristotle wrote about the leafy green all the way back in 400 B.C. 

A member of the beet and spinach family, chard is packed with antioxidants and rich in nutrients, and is a versatile  green useful in soups, pasta dishes, savory tarts and endless other preparations.  The mildly bitter leaves cook down into creamy deliciousness, and unlike many similar greens, the stems cook well too and are rarely discarded.