For anyone unfamiliar with this vegetable it is something like spinach and celery on the same plant. You cook the large green leaves like spinach and the crispy stems can be steamed, boiled, added to stews or pretty much used anywhere you would use celery. They can even be eaten raw in salads.
Theoretically chard is an easy plant to grow - throw seeds in the ground in Spring, gradually thin the seedlings, (using the thinnings raw in salad as micro leaves) until the plants are about 30cm apart. Then allow the plants to grow about 60cm tall. To harvest snap off the outer leaves leaving a few young inner leaves to grow on.
All that is fine but for one thing this year - I could not get my seeds to germinate. I may have had a duff packet of seeds but I suspect actually that cold spring nights were to blame. In the end I bought a tray of 12 seedlings from the market for not much more than the packet of seeds had cost me and they have grown fantastically! To be honest I may go straight down the seedling route next year.
|Chard waiting to be cooked - what shall it be tonight?|
So what can you cook with chard? To be honest the list is so long I'd be here for ever listing everything I have ever cooked or would like to cook, but here are a few examples:
- Stir-fried with turkey strips
- Little filo parcels with chard and cream cheese
- Chicken, coconut and chard curry
- Pumpkin, sweet potato and chard stew
- Teamed up with smoked salmon and a poached egg in a pancake
- Chard stem gratin
- Chard soup - a wonderful green colour, so great for a Halloween supper!
- Moroccan-Style Chickpea & Chard Stew
- Chard quiche
Have you got a favourite vegetable or favourite chard recipe? Please do let us know as we have plenty more chard to harvest and I do love trying new recipes.
I am linking up with Annie's weekly How Does Your Garden Grow blog linky over at Manneskjur. Do pop over to read some gardening blogs where, I am sure, there will be some more colourful posts than mine!