Swiss Chard is one of my favorite vegetables. Over the years it has been my pleasure to introduce the value and benefits of Swiss Chard to interested gardeners in our area.
Today, I would like to share that information with you.
So you might wonder, what is Swiss Chard? Beta vulgaris (Swiss Chard) is a leafy green vegetable high in vitamins A, K and C. It is used often in Mediterranean cooking. Jamie and I love Mediterranean cooking and leafy greens which makes this a perfect vegetable for us.
Swiss Chard belongs to the same family as Spinach and Beets. Although it has a slightly bitter and salty taste, when cooked it as a delightful element to any meal. It, also, make a beautiful garden plant.
Now if you have never seen Swiss cahrd you might be wondering - What does Swiss Chard look like? Well, the leaf is wide and fan shaped and some what rippled like Bibb lettuce. The stalks are thick and crunchy and come in a variety of colors such as red, white, green, yellow and orange. Broad leaves perched on colorful stalks is what makes it such a pretty garden plant.
Now that I have peaked your interest in this awesome plant, you will want to know where you can grow Swiss Chard. If you've grown beets you can grow Swiss Chard. This Biennial is grown as an annual in full-sun to light shade areas. It roots deep and is very rugged. In fact, the more you harvest (cut) the leaves from this plant the better it seems to do.
Jamie and I have found that in Northeast Arkansas and the Bootheel of Missouri, Swiss Chard can be grown in two crops. A spring-summer crop and a fall-winter crop.
You can start you Swiss chard from seed sown directly in the garden or as I like to do it from plants already establish in plugs.
To harevest the plant simply cut the leaves off and use them.
Harvesting bring me to my favorite part of growing Swiss Chard - eating it. I like to saute it with a little goat cheese, walnuts and cranberries.
Here is my favorite recipe:
Sauteed Swiss Chard
What you need:
Begin by washing the Swiss Chard in cold water. Shake the excess water off and place the leaf on the cutting board with the leaf folded over along the center rib, so that you can cut out the rib of the stem. Then while the leaf is still folded cut the leaf into 1" wide ribbons and place in a salad spinner to dry. Then chop your garlic.
Now place your dutch oven pan over low-med heat and add 1Tbl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Brown you garlic in the oil till it is golden in color. Turn up the heat to a solid med and Swiss Chard to the hot oil and garlic. Toss rapidly to cook. Be careful not to overcook. This process should only take 2 to 3 minutes. Best flavor when Swiss Chard is still a little stiff and crunchy. Remove from heat and add kosher salt to taste.
How to prepare Swiss Chard Leaves