Rainbow chard is like the cousin of Swiss chard- only brighter and better.
In terms of appearance and taste, rainbow chard seems to be the clear winner for many people.
But for those who have yet to try it, you may wonder what’s so special about rainbow chard.
Or, more specifically, what does rainbow chard taste like exactly?
We’re here to answer just that and more – what it is, how to cook with it, and the different ways to use rainbow chard.
Read on to learn everything.
What is Rainbow Chard?
Generally, chard, also known as Swiss chard, is a leafy green vegetable part of the beet family.
You may also know these nutritional leaves by the name Beet Spinach, Leaf Beet, or Silver Beet.
Prepare your mind for this revelation- rainbow chard isn’t a variety of chard.
Many think rainbow chard is a specific variety, like Ruby Chard or Rhubarb Chard.
However, in reality, rainbow chard is simply a mix of different types of chard.
It usually includes white-stemmed Swiss, red, purple, and golden chard, giving it its characteristic colorful, “rainbow” appearance.
So, when different varieties of chard are bunched and cooked together, you can imagine how the flavors must meld and create a unique taste.
And they sure pack a nutritional punch too.
What Does Rainbow Chard Taste Like?
A dish with an array of colorful leaves isn’t just lovely but also appealing.
That’s what rainbow chard is.
With its colors ranging from deep red to bright yellow and orange, you won’t be able to resist cooking with it or tasting it.
But what is the flavor of the leafy veggie exactly? Does it taste like other leaves, or it’s unique?
Rainbow chard is similar to spinach in taste, even though the two aren’t related.
The former is a little milder than the latter, though.
It’s also earthy, and you can compare that to spinach again.
People call the colorful leaves rainbow chard, rhubarb chard, or simply chard because they’re all the same except for the colors.
When raw, rainbow chard is mild with a slightly bitter taste and is crunchy.
The bitterness can increase if you cook it randomly.
But when cooked the right way, you will have a milder and sweeter taste.
Chard is lovely and versatile, and it also contains plenty of nutrients, including an abundance of vitamins, minerals and powerful plant compounds.
One cup of cooked rainbow chard has 35 calories, 3.3gms protein, 3.7gms fiber, 7gms carbs, vitamins A, C, E & K, magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, and manganese.
When you make a salad or include the chard in any dish, you not only get to look at its loveliness and enjoy its taste, but you also receive plenty of goodness.
How to Cook and Use Rainbow Chard?
Since rainbow chard is simply an assortment of different colors (varieties), you can cook it as you’d cook your everyday Swiss chard.
There are no special techniques as such. However, the result is what makes all the difference.
When cooked and used in the right way, rainbow chard can bring a burst of flavor and color to any dish, making it all the more special.
One of our favorite ways to use rainbow chard is in a Rainbow Chard & Quinoa Salad.
The combination of nutty quinoa, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and zesty lemon dressing really makes the chard shine.
If you’re looking for something hearty, you might want to cook your rainbow chard.
However, note that cooking the leaves makes their flavor more bitter.
If you’re a fan of bitter greens, you can enjoy your cooked rainbow chard as is, perhaps with a side of rice or protein.
However, those who don’t enjoy the bitterness can try blanching the leaves first.
Blanching is simply boiling the leaves for a minute or two, then dunking them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
It helps soften the leaves and takes away some of the bitterness.
Once you’ve blanched your rainbow chard, just chop them up and add them to soups, stews, omelets, quiches, or lasagnas.
Or, you can sauté the leaves with some garlic and olive oil- a classic combination that goes well with any leafy green.
Whether you call it chard, rainbow chard, leafy veggies, or rhubarb chard, the lovely-looking leaves are capable of making any dish tasty and appealing.
You can make a salad or cook it in various methods.
While it’s more nutritious to eat the chard raw, the slightly bitter taste may not appeal to all.
But it gets a bit milder and even tastier when cooked, so you can enjoy the leaves by cooking them in multiple ways.
The chard will lose some nutrients when cooked, but it will still have enough.