|Rainbow Swiss chard can produce three gorgeous colors from one package of seeds!|
Have you grown or eaten Swiss chard? Lately I've been surprised to discover how many people aren't well acquainted with this hearty and tasty type of garden greens, so I thought I'd share a little of what I've learned about growing chard and some of my favorite recipes using it. Swiss chard (also called chard, silverbeet, and perpetual spinach) is an easy-to-grow type of greens that are highly nutritious. Both the stems and leaves are good to eat. Small, tender leaves make a nice addition to salads or are good for making chard pesto, while larger leaves should be cut away from the ribs so stems and leaves can be cooked separately. Chard has a pleasant flavor that's a little stronger than spinach, but not as strong as kale or mustard greens.
I believe it's been about four years now since I started growing Swiss chard, and I love the way you can trim off leaves and the plant will continue producing new ones, even in the hot Utah summers. Chard is easy to grow from seed, and I never had problems with my chard until last year when a flock of quail discovered it and started to eat the leaves until only the stalks remained, like you see in the photo above. A visit to the garden center taught me to use garden netting to save the Swiss chard from the birds, and all has been well ever since.
This year my Swiss chard has been especially prolific, and I've been experimenting with it quite a bit. I recently made this Spicy Asian Stir-Fried Swiss Chard, which my nephew Jake and I completely devoured the day we made it.
Another new Swiss chard recipe from 2011 is this Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake. This will definitely be a repeater!
When the weather starts to get cold I love the color that Swiss chard adds to soup. I made this Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Pepper last year right about this time.
In 2008 I made Swiss Chard and Mushroom Squares, which were delicious although now I'd like to take a new photo for that recipe!
Another very delicious recipe that needs a new photo is this Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard from 2007. (I think this was the first year I had chard from my garden.)
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese is something I've made many times since I first posted the recipe in 2009.
This Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin from 2009 is another dish I've made several times since it appeared on the blog.
Lots of chard recipes only use the leaves, so it's handy to have a recipe that uses the stems like this Baked Swiss Chard Stems with Olive Oil and Parmesan from 2009.
Finally, one of the most creative ways I've used Swiss chard is in this Chard and Garlic Scape Pesto which I made earlier in the summer when a friend gave me some garlic scapes.
Help Spread the Swiss Chard Love:
Now it's your turn to participate. The web is supposed to be interactive, so if you like Swiss chard and have any growing tips or favorite recipes using it, please share your tips or recipe links in the comments!