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Old 06-08-2007, 03:34 PM   #1
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Swiss Chard

I planted the chard in my garden and have no idea when to pick it what to do with it. On the internet it many recipes suggest that you just saute the greens for about 10 minutes with evoo and garlic.

2 questions:
1) How tall should the chard be when I pick it?
2) Do you suggest using this plain recipe for a start or do you have a better one?

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Old 06-08-2007, 03:38 PM   #2
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I AM SO JEALOUS! I love swiss chard. You can steam it and then add stuff to it, or you can saute it as you suggest. You can add it to soups, mmmmmmmmmmm...so many things.

My very favorite way to eat it is steamed with a bit of butter and s&p as it hits the plate. YUM!

Oh and we usually pick it when its about...8 inches tall or so? The stem starts to get pretty woody after a while so smaller is better.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:40 PM   #3
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Thank you, Alix! I'd better go out there and start picking!
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:48 PM   #4
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Pick LOTS, it shrinks like spinach when you cook it. You need LOTS to feed a hungry crowd.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:52 PM   #5
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Swiss Chard is one of my favorite greens!!!!

It's a great "cut-&-come-again" crop, & can be cut when just a few inches tall & used raw in salads or stirfries.

For older mature Swiss Chard, this is my favorite way of preparing it:

Sauteed Swiss Chard
1 bunch of Swiss Chard - any type
Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs (optional)

Fill a pot large enough to hold the chard with water & bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves from the stems. Trim & discard the stem ends & cut the stems into 1"-2" pieces depending on stem thickness. Roughly chop/slice up the leaves, keeping them separate from the stem pieces. When the water reaches a boil, add the stems & cook for around 5 minutes. Then add the leaves to the pot as well & continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Heat some extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet. Smash the peeled garlic cloves with the side of a large knife, sprinkle them with salt & roughly chop (the salt will keep the garlic from flying around your cutting board as you mince it). Add the drained chard, minced garlic, & crushed red pepper flakes to taste & stir until heated thru.
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan &/or Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs if desired, stir again, & serve.

The above is my own recipe. I have others, but I'm not sure of their source, so I don't think I can post them here.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
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I probably have enough variety to saute some and simmer the other. Thank you!
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:11 PM   #7
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I substitute it for spinach when making spinach pie. Some times ill also use it to make a spinach calzone . Actually, i have tons in my garden now. I will saute it with some garlic, oil and salt, then make a white pizza, and place it on top.
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:47 PM   #8
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Swiss chard is a great vegetable. Here's a variety I grew one year that I really enjoyed. Not only is it beautiful, but it's very tender and tasty. You may want to try it next year, or better yet, in your fall garden. Chard is extremely cold tolerant, and depending on where you live, you may be able to harvest it up until Thanksgiving.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:32 PM   #9
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versatile, mild, easy to cook etc. goes with lots of things. great with pastas, roasts, in soups, etc. garlic olive oil broth snp hot sauce if you like
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:32 PM   #10
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I love swiss chard it is a wonderful vegetable and soo good for you it's also great in soups I cant get it here where I live.How hard is it to grow?We have a short growing season and its pretty hot in the day but really cool at night with a usual 20 percent humidity.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:44 PM   #11
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You might be able to grow it in the winter, jp.
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:11 PM   #12
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Maybe, Constance I do have a small 8x10 green house and my tomatoes are just starting to get flowers to fruit but I have a bit of heat(oil heater) at night and a fan in the day it's difficult, too hot in green house in the day too cold at night but I have so far the last 5 years gotten tons of tomatoes in my little green house started by seeds in my house and planted in large containers. I always feel very proud to grow these wonderful tomatoes from seed since I have no gardening experience.Last year we got tomatoes into December but hubby shut it down since he was coming to see me inTexas ,my november,december job.Who knows how long they could have gone. One of my tricks in growing herbs and tomatoes from seed is to water them with warm water they always sprout in about 3-5 days and I keep giving them warm water until they are established and strong.Meaning no shock to seeds or little sprouts from cold water.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #13
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You can pretty much do the same things with Swiss Chard that you would with spinach. It's quite a bit less sharp in flavor, tho. and if you have baby leaves, they're great raw in a salad, just like spinach.

Interestingly, I found in France that in the North they eat the ribs, braised with onions and maybe some garlic, in stock. Very tasty. But in the South, they strip the ribs and eat the leaves.

I've kind of adopted both ways. If I buy two big bunches, I can make two different sides out of the chard by first serving it Provencal style (leaves) and then Parisian (ribs).

The Provencal have two yummy recipes for Swiss Chard Tarts -- one is savory with pine nuts, and the other is sweet! a dessert!!! I can post the recipes for you if you'd like.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:43 AM   #14
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Swiis Chard Tarts that sounds really,really good.I also love Kale.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:49 AM   #15
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The Victory Garden Cookbook has many lovely recipes for Swiss Chard - including tarts & baked squares. Fabulous stuff.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:55 PM   #16
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I'd love the recipes, June. Swiss chard tarts sound really good. I did cut the rib out of each leaf so next time I'll know better.

I bet my Laurel's Kitchen might have some recipes, also. I'm a big fan of kale, also.

I had no idea that it was milder than spinach.
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:16 PM   #17
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I'll try to post the recipes tonight after we hang the shades.

One thing I love to do with the red chard, especially is to saute the leaves with a little garlic, then squirt in a few dollops of balsamic glaze and when that's almost evaporated, a few pine nuts. You could almost just sprinkle it with grated Parm and call it "Dinner!"
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:59 AM   #18
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I, too, use Swiss chard in any recipe where I might use spinach. And it is so pretty (I grow the same rainbow variety pictured). My favorite think is to boil some angel hair pasta, chop the chard, and toss all in the skillet with olilve oil, my favorite garlic seasoning and hot pepper flakes. Maybe some olives as well.
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:36 AM   #19
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t My chard only has white stems...next year I'll plant the variety pack.

jpmcgrew - it's very easy to grow. All I did was plant seeds and water. I believe it was one of the first veggies to poke it's head through the ground.

Claire, you gave me an idea for breakfast. I'll toss chopped chard with some grains and saute them in evoo and garlic. I have several tupperwares with cooked grains in them since I'm trying to eat healthier. We've never been wedded to any certain food for any meal and I often eat dinner for breakfast.


edited: I'm a happy cooker!
I sauteed some garlic in evoo, added red wheat berries and then tossed in my chopped chard. I loved it.
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