Friday, April 29, 2011

Chard Gets its Mojo Back

Formerly flat bunches of chard, after reconstituting submerged in water for two hours.
Our big hanks of chard from the CSA boxes tend to stick out of normal-size bags, and they wilt down to a pretty thin and floppy state when kept in the fridge too long.  I had accumulated quite a bit of chard, and wondered if it would be possible to restore the chard to its plump, crispy state.  Much to my surprise, I found that it is!

Because I didn't really expect the outcome to be this amazing, I didn't take a "before" picture. But my chard was flat, folks.  Droopy doesn't begin to describe it.  I trimmed the stem ends, and put it all in my big old yellow Tupperware bowl (you know, the gigantic one).  I filled the bowl to the brim with water.  Two hours later, I noticed that the chard was curling up crisply out of the bowl.  I prepared to spin it dry, but realized, as I lifted the leaves out, that it was already dry.  In the bottom of the bowl, only about 1/4 cup of water remained.  The chard had absorbed all the rest.  It looked as if it had just been picked.

So don't give up on your greens.  I suspect the key thing was to trim the stem ends; the water was probably absorbed into the chard through the stems.

Update:  It works for spinach, too.  Be sure to freshly tear or cut stem ends and make sure the stem ends are submerged.  I do think the leaves take up the water from them.  And I was delighted to discover a new way to use chard from commenter Janet.  Thank you!


  1. That chard looks like it was just picked from the field! Nice tip :) I'll have to try that next time I let the greens wilt in the fridge.

  2. What a neat trick! I have just discovered chard and I'll keep this in mind when I have some that are droopy.

  3. Wow, who knew? I have experienced that with arugula and celery but didn't think to try it with chard or beet greens. I wonder if a week is too late for revival.