Swiss chard is your friend.
(That’s not the secret.)
Actually, Swiss chard has TWO secrets to tell you. One for now, one for later.
Swiss chard is super easy to grow.
No, really. You throw the seeds in the ground, water them if you think of it, spit on them even! Walk away and BAM! Swiss chard.
Remember that secret for next spring. I’ll probably remind you, so don’t worry.
The other secret – the one you can use right now – is that Swiss chard is just like kale in salad.
“Just like kale” in the sense that with a little bit of fat (think avocado or oil) and a little bit of time (think 5 – 10 minutes), it softens up nicely and makes the perfect salad green.
Seriously, Swiss Chard? That’s your secret? Thanks for getting my hopes up that it was going to be something juicy.
But wait! This is juicy!
It’s good to rotate your greens!
Victoria Boutenko explains it nicely in Green Smoothie Revolution that the leaves of plants contain trace alkaloids. Alkaloids can be poisonous in large quantities. (Hello, Bok Choy Lady.) In small, normal quantities, alkaloids are no big deal. In fact, alkaloids are part of what makes greens so awesome because they can do great things for your immune system.
But if you eat, juice or blend a lot of greens day after day and use the same greens for weeks on end? The alkaloid of that particular green can build up in your body and can lead to symptoms of poisoning.
Now don’t freak out and suddenly stop eating salads because you’re afraid you’re going to get poisoned! I eat greens every day and have lived to tell this heroic tale.
Just let this alkaloid factoid be a good reason to try out new greens! Greens you might not have otherwise tried/have forced on you because you signed up for CSA boot camp/grown in your garden because you spit on your Swiss chard seeds and they just happened to grow.
(Be warned that chard tends to be a bit bitter when compared to other salad greens, which is easier for seasoned green veterans than green newbies… you may want to consider adding it in as part of a green salad mix.)
So now you know Swiss chard is a great one to try in salad,
because Swiss chard is your friend.