Thursday, July 23, 2009

the almightly chard

Easy to grow chard looks as good
as it tastes.
And now a little plug for Swiss chard. I'm a little biased because it is one of my very favorite vegetables. It is so much more flavorful than spinach, has a little more body than spinach (keeps its nice texture when cooked), is incredibly versatile in the kitchen (just Google "chard recipes" and you'll see), and if that weren't enough, it looks great in the landscape with its dark glossy leaves and colorful stems. And what's more, you can cut outer leaves all summer long to sautee, steam, stir fry, or bake into delicious tarts, frittatas or lasagnas. The plants will continue to grow and look fabulous all season. Be sure to add this attractive, delicious, nutritious and easy-to-grow variety to your garden next season. Better yet, you could still get it in the ground this year for a late-season crop.
Swiss chard and many other leafy greens are tolerant of cold temperatures. Find an open spot in the garden and sow some seeds. You'll have harvestable leaves in as little as 40 days. Yum! Be sure to rinse it well before cooking as the dimpled leaves really seem to hang onto dust and soil particles. None of us like to eat gritty greens! Here are links to a couple of my favorite recipes for chard from epicurious.com and the Food Network.
Swiss chard tart. Image borrowed from ThisTinyHouse.com.
The University of Minnesota Extension Service has some great resources on their website for growing all kinds of vegetables.

Red and orange stemmed chard add a ton of color to the garden!

1 comment:

  1. The Japanese Beetles never amounted to much. The first day I saw them, I followed some advice and flicked them off the plants into a container of soapy water. Got a lot of them that first day. Continued this for two or three days, and then they were gone!

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