The chard is a herbaceous plant (also called swiss chard) that includes two varieties: the area cultivated for the production of the coasts and that for cutting the leaves. The former include the so-called "silver ribs", with large green leaves and large, very fleshy white ribs. The latter is the most gastronomically important part; it can exceed 2 inches in width and 8 in length. Swiss chard or ribs are available on the market most of the year. Good ribs must have candid-white stems without spots and leaves that do not show signs of withering.
The white ribs are cut into pieces of about 4 inches and boiled in water added with a spoonful of flour (it serves to maintain their whiteness); then they can be sautéed, au gratin, or braised. The green part if it is very fresh can be used instead of spinach or beets. The latter represents the second large group of the family and are cultivated for the use of green leaves. These can be smooth or wavy with a thin light green rib; the length should not exceed 8 inches or they become bitter and hard. They have a delicate flavor and are used like spinach.