Chard adds a splash of colour to a vegetable patch. It comes in many different shades and is characterised by the dramatic stalks and veins of its leaves, including white, orange, green, red, and purple stalked varieties. It makes an excellent choice for a home vegetable garden, or to grow in containers on a patio. Both the stems and the leaves are eaten. Chard makes a great alternative to spinach and is much easier to grow (spinach bolts easily in dry hot summers).
It is possible to eat both the stalks and the leaves. The stalks take longer to cook, about 4 mins in boiling water, compared to 2 minutes for the leaves. Therefore the stalks and the leaves are often cooked separately. The stalks have a mild, crunchy flavour, with a texture and taste reminiscent of celery, whilst the leaves are more similar to spinach.
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