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Posts Tagged ‘swiss 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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I adore swiss chard…LOVE the stuff!  We have chard coming on hard in the garden so thought this might be the perfect time to share this recipe.

I am always looking for fun ways to cook leafy greens and this recipe is probably my favorite…the lovely chard with the sweet raisins and the slightly crunchy pine is a simply wonderful combination.

Ingredients:

1 Large bunch Swiss Chard washed and drained (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)

Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion Chopped (I use sweet)

1/4 to 1/3 Cup Chopped Golden Raisins (whole or chopped, your choice)

Salt to taste

Tear the leaves from the stems of your swiss chard…coarsely chop the stems and the leaves separately.

In dutch oven…Saute the onions and stems together in olive oil 5 to 7 minutes stirring occasionally till mostly tender.

Add Chard leaves and raisins and sprinkling of salt, cover and cook until leaves are tender (2 to 3 minutes)

Remove from heat and add the pine nuts.

Adjust salt

Serve immediately

Simple, easy, seasonal and nutritious! And if you don’t have Swiss Chard you can substitute any leafy green you have on hand, just adjust the cooking time to fit your selection.

Swiss Chard…the deliciously lovely food!

So folks, do you have any wonderful ways that you guys cook up your greens?

Do share…

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