Swiss Chard

One of my garden favorites! Swiss Chard is one of the newest additions to my garden, this is its 3rd summer with us. Maybe it’s the small town that we live in, or maybe swiss chard doesn’t travel well to grocery stores….but I don’t remember seeing it in available in our grocery store (which is very small). If memory serves me right I read about it on a blog out there on the web. I am always willing to try new things in the garden, especially since we love spinach.
Swiss chard is easy to grow and was one of the first things that went into the garden this spring. The chard seeds got planted at the same time the spinach seeds went in the ground. The spinach has been gone for a couple of weeks now. We had a hot spell, the spinach bolted…we only got 2 pickings off of it before it was gone. The chard has flourished. No need to worry about bolting with this green! It will tolerate our hot and humid summers and we can pick until the first hard frost.

I have substituted Swiss Chard for spinach in lots of recipes (like hot spinach dip). Creamed Swiss Chard is fantastic….we have made it and added precooked pasta, also used it as a dip for flatbread, homemade of course. Chard dehydrates wonderfully as well. Just rinse the leaves (I save the stems for something else) pat them dry and put in a single layer in the dehydrator. The dehydrator is set on 95º F (35ºC) this is my herb setting on the dehydrator. I just dry them until they crumble. Time depends on humidity and how large the leaves are. The chard then broken into pieces and put into a jar. I put it in soups and dips and have even put it in bread. Husband one time thought the jar had basil in it and we had it on pizza, that was good too.
If you haven’t given swiss chard a try and like spinach or other greens give this vitamin packed plant a try. It grows well in containers too! If you have grown it before and have recipes to share we are always looking for new ways to incorporate it into our menu ☺

Spinach Rice Salad with homemade Bread (Swiss Chard instead of spinach) The only thing I had to buy for this dinner was the rice and the celery.


julochka said...

i've got a long row of it, but it's strangely slow in coming up...i wonder if it isn't fond of our sandy soil. we've had lots of rain and now if we get a few sunny days, i'm sure it will come on strong!! in the meantime, i'm using kale, as that's doing better in the row next to the chard.

Jude said...

Oh yes we're big fans of swiss chard too! Have grown in New Brunswick (Canada) for 6 years and now Denmark, I think its flavour is superiour to spinach and I like the little extra colour the stems add.

Anneli/Bockfilz said...

I like the swiss chard/mangold too, and I find it's very easy to grow. Sometimes it even resists the winter cold and returns next spring by itself.

I use the small, fresh leaves in all kinds of salad - there are sorts with beautiful many-coloured stems that make it a feast for the eye as well!