Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Swiss chard – one of the ‘other’ greens!

Many of you are familiar with what are referred to as ‘greens’ in the south:  kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens. There are probably a few others I’m not sure of.  Don’t forget, I’m a Yankee transplant living in the south so ‘greens’ to me always meant various types of lettuce!

However, one of the greens I’ll be talking about today is not necessarily a southern green, as it was introduced to me by my husband.  He grew up in New Jersey and ate a lot of Swiss chard…his mother introduced him to it.  I was always a spinach lover, but since chowing down on Swiss chard I like it much better.

Two feet long tip to bottom!

As you can see from the photos the leaves are huge, spinach doesn’t get leaves that big.  From the top of the leaf to the bottom of the steam most are measuring 2 feet and the leaves are about 10 inches wide. 

Did I mention big leaves?

In the above photo the leaf is on a 10-inch dinner plate and you can hardly see it!  I will chalk the size of the chard up to our raised bed that is full of mushroom mulch (not dirt).  Last year we planted 18 plants and we couldn’t eat it or give it away fast enough.  This year we cut back to 9 plants and we are still giving some to the neighbors.

Big pot of chard cooking on my stove right now!

My preferred cooking method:  I wash the chard in a big pan of cold water; make sure the bugs are off!!  I cut the stems into 2-3 inch pieces and put them in a big pan of boiling water.  Once the stems are getting soft I add the leaves.  They take up a lot of room at first, but they cook down.  Stuff as many leaves in the pot as you can.  Turn the flame to medium-low and let it slow cook.  I serve it with lots of butter, salt and pepper. 

Swiss chard is very good for you.  It is extremely low in fat and calories (until you add that butter!).  It is loaded with antioxidants.  This colorful veggie is loaded with all kinds of good things for you.  Check it out by clicking this link.

If you don’t like it boiled, you can Google recipes and try it different ways.  I recently sautéed it and it was a little more time consuming to prepare, but worth the effort!  If you live nearby stop in and I’ll give you some fresh chard from our garden!

Photo taken today, June 15, 2016

Photos belong to AbbyG

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