I love Rainbow Chard! Okay so it’s not pizza, but you can put it on pizza if you we’re so inclined. I’ve done it. No sauce just sauté the chard in olive oil, add lots of garlic and lay tons of chard on a Gruyere covered pizza crust with a few pine nuts on top. Yum-a-saris!
I’m talking about Rainbow Chard today because it occurred to me that since it’s “rainbow” it might cover more than just the “green” vegetable color category. You know how I’m always telling you to eat 5 colors a day? Well, I wondered if Rainbow Chard got to claim more than one color. While I couldn’t find any hard, written evidence that “Yes, Rainbow Chard is allowed to claim a rainbow of colors” I’m guessing it can.
Here’s why — Because each color category represents different nutrients and antioxidants. That’s how each piece of fruit or vegetable gets its color. So, it would make sense that the yellow-stemmed pieces would be high in carotenoids and flavonoids (good sources of vitamin A), and the red & pink pieces would contain more Lycopene, like in tomatoes. While all pieces get to claim green which contains lutein, a substance that can maintain healthy vision. The different colored pieces can’t be the color they are, sans the above chemicals, or phytonutrients. Hence my conclusion that Rainbow Chard counts for 3 colors. Green, yellow/orange and red/pink.
Either way it’s yummy, Rainbow Chard's pink, orange, yellow, and red stalks are sweeter than light or white varieties. Pick a bunch with deep green, crisp leaves and you have just chalked 3 colors off your list for the day (in my world anyway).
Here’s how I like to prepare my Rainbow Chard
- 2 bunches Rainbow Chard
- Lots of olive oil (I probably used 1/4 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Lemon zest (I used about 1/2 lemon)
- Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Sauté chopped chard in olive oil and garlic till tender. Garnish with lemon zest, S&P.
Serve as a side dish as is, or my fav — toss into pasta or gnocchi with a little pecorino cheese on top.
Like I said, yum-a-saris!
P.s. Chard is in season through April so now’s the time!