Thursday, 18 September 2014

Chard - a Very Versatile Vegetable

Posted by Rosie


Chard
I am lucky in that I have a large vegetable garden and can grow what-ever vegetable I want to, subject to our climate, pests, disease, moon phases etc etc!  However I do sometimes wonder what vegetables I would grow if I only had a small plot to grow things in and I have come to the conclusion that Chard would be a distinct possibility.

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
There are some more examples I have found and put on our Food for the Future Pinterest Board.

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!

Manneskjur

22 comments :

  1. No no no not chard! I could happily never see or eat chard again!

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  2. That is a very versatile vegetable! I'm not keen on spinach though like celery, so I may or may not like it!

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    1. Let me know if you ever try it! Farmer's Markets often sell it .. or markets in France ;)

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  3. You mentioned the word 'celery' and that's enough to put me off I'm afraid! I'm impressed with your versatility with chard though :)

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    1. The stalks does not really taste like celery but you can use it the same way. Let me know if you ever try it!

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  4. We've never grown chard because we get quite a lot in our veg box - good recipe ideas :)

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    1. Yes, it is always popular in veg boxes as Phoebe, above has found out!

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  5. i love chard. but i love it best when it's at its baby stage. it makes for a most delicious salad!

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  6. We grew, or should I say, tried to grow, some coloured chard last year and it really did not do very well. We must try again next year x #HDYGG

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    1. The coloured chard is always less productive so I stick to the green one. Spacing the plants well and plenty of water seem to be the keys to success (and getting your seeds to germinate in the first place!)

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  7. I love chard although MOH isn't too keen. I grow the rainbow bright sort so the stems are reds and yellows as well as white. I tell him it's spinach and he eats it, but he must wonder where the stuff I grow goes!!

    Not sure I could ever not grow tomatoes though...

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    1. Ditto with tomatoes - nothing better than a slightly warm, home-grown tomato popped in your mouth!

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  8. We love chard! Check out our blog post on the health benefits and a delicious recipe too www.kaleandcocoa.com

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  9. Oh wow this is pechay in my country! A staple in every stews! I love this in Nilagang Baka (Beef). Just add to beef, potato, and pepper corn! And lets not talk about Kare Kare! Endless dishes! Goodness I miss this veggy! #hdygg

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    1. Ooooh, Merlinda, I need to do some googling! If you want to buy some try a farmer's market, they often sell it .. or team up with someone who has a vegetable box and doesn't like it!

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  10. I've never had chard. I think I really need to now! I really need sort out my planting scheme for next year.

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    1. It really is a great plant to grow especially as it is not often for sale in the shops in the UK .... but you can always get it on French markets!

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  11. wow! i may need to investigate chard next spring! thanks for all the tips!

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