It has been an easy veggie, grown four plants to 1 square foot. Ready in just 4 weeks, it is a prolific grower, tolerates poor soil, inattention, and even withstands frost and mild freezes.
Because they are extremely perishable, just pick a few outer leaves as you need them. As with most lettuce type plants, it is better to harvest them early rather than late!
Aren't those red stalks beautiful?! You can eat both the stalk and leaves! Chard does have a bit of a bitter flavor which you can minimize by making sure it gets plenty of water.
To make sure we eat them, I did some searching for new recipes. We most often saute the chard and eat it as a side dish or over pasta. I often add it to a beef stew or soup.
Sauteed Swiss Chard
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- salt to taste (optional)
- Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.
Swiss Chard with Beans and Goat Cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 bunch Swiss chard - rinsed, stems removed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add Swiss chard, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Uncover and mix in the pinto beans, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking until the chard is wilted, about 4 more minutes.
- Transfer the chard to the baking dish and dot with goat cheese, pushing it down into the dish.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the goat cheese is warmed.