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Posts Tagged ‘chard’

My chard (also known as swiss chard and silverbeet) is growing great right now. I planted it last fall, and it did ok throughout the winter months, but it seems to really have taken off in the past months. I have known that I need some shade for my garden in the spring and summer months. That South Texas sun is just too darn hot for most things all day long. While I have a nice line of juniper trees on the east side of the garden I have nothing shading things from the West side and as the hours go by the plants really take a beating. I have tried to come up with some ideas (in my head!) to help shade things, but my limitations over the past few years I haven’t been able to physically get things done like that. This year I had some ideas that I thought would work and I have more stamina to get them done.

Chard stalks

Chard stalks

I’m getting off track here. This post started out about chard and the stems and I have gotten sidetracked with my new shade system….. so I will break this up into two posts and post about the shade that I created in my next post here.

I think my chard is really benefiting from the shade and when I arrived back home after being gone for 3 weeks I was amazed at how tall and full the chard plants where. It is really almost impossible to grow most greens here in the spring and summer months. For two years I did keep a few chard plants going. It wasn’t pretty throughout the summer months, nor were they huge producers, but it was interesting to see them stay alive and keep growing.  I am excited at the prospect of these fall planted chard plants along with the new shade to see what happens throughout the rest of the summer. We are already hot, and it will just get more hot and I hope the plants will do better.

chopping chard stalks

chopping chard stalks

So, I am happily picking chard and adding into most of our meals in one way or another. Last night as I was chopping the chard and I wondered if others out there also ate the stalks/stems.

Adding chopped chard stalks to pasta water

Adding chopped chard stalks to pasta water

I grew up eating the stalks. Mom or Gram would chop them separately and get them sauteing or steaming for a few minutes. The stalks can be a bit bitter and that bitterness will disappear if you give them extra time to cook. they also need additional cooking time because they are a lot thicker and firmer than the leaf and need that extra time to soften up more.

When I am going to add the chard to pasta, I just throw the chopped stalks in along with the pasta for the last 3 minutes of its cooking time. Once the pasta is drained I add the chopped leaves and let the heat of the pasta soften and cook the delicate chard leaves (the smaller you chop them up, the easier it is to incorporate them into the hot pasta.)

Do you eat the chard stalks? How do you incorporate them into your meals?

Sincerely, Emily

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Saint Patrick’s Day is over, but that’s no reason not to cook up this delicious and uber-nutritious “green soup.” This is not The Splendid Table’s recipe, but like Lynne’s, it does require an immersion blender to get the right consistency. Feel free to add more veggies to your liking!

Miranda’s Green Soup from Pocket Pause

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 leek
  • 1 potato or turnip
  • Pinch dried or fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 dried cayenne pepper
  • 1 pint condensed chicken stock + 3 pints water or 1 quart regular strength stock
  • 1 bunch kale (or chard)
  • splash lemon juice

Coursely chop all the veggies. Saute the leek with a bit of butter until dark green and softening, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer until all veggies are soft (20 minutes to an hour). You can’t overcook it. Blend with your immersion blender to smooth out the soup and get that nice creamy consistency without the cream!

Serve in a nice large bowl with a dollup of yogurt and maybe some shredded mozz. Seen with some sausage added to the top, because i was feeling sausagey for some reason this night.

Really warms the soul and is a great dose of leafy green veggies when it’s too chilly outside for salad!

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