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Tell me about Swiss Chard

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Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  lisaphoto on 4/16/2011, 12:29 pm

I ordered some seeds online and received a free gift of Rhubarb Swiss Chard. I have never grown or even eaten Swiss Chard. From what I have read online, it seems like it can be planted at anytime, and harvest as a pick and come again. Any tips, advice, recipes, or even descriptions would be helpful.
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  elliephant on 4/16/2011, 12:38 pm

I've got a pic in this thread. It took me a while to be "brave" enough to try it, but I'm loving it now and just planted anotheer square this week.

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  camprn on 4/16/2011, 12:38 pm

@lisaphoto wrote:I ordered some seeds online and received a free gift of Rhubarb Swiss Chard. I have never grown or even eaten Swiss Chard. From what I have read online, it seems like it can be planted at anytime, and harvest as a pick and come again. Any tips, advice, recipes, or even descriptions would be helpful.
Go ahead and plant it now!!
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  lisaphoto on 4/16/2011, 12:49 pm

I have all my squares planted with spring crops. Can I stick the swiss chard in the middle of some lettuce. I'm guessing the lettuce will be harvested by the time the Chard is big enough to be a problem. Also, how tall does it get. My summer plan includes a lot of tall plants, and I am having a hard time not blocking other plants
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  elliephant on 4/16/2011, 12:53 pm

@lisaphoto wrote:I have all my squares planted with spring crops. Can I stick the swiss chard in the middle of some lettuce. I'm guessing the lettuce will be harvested by the time the Chard is big enough to be a problem. Also, how tall does it get. My summer plan includes a lot of tall plants, and I am having a hard time not blocking other plants

Swiss Chard does take a while to really get going, IME, so I think that would be fine. It only gets as tall as you let it...you can harvest from it at any stage. Even letting mine go for a long time I'd say it didn't get taller than 2 ft, so I don't think it'll be a problem in terms of blocking other plants.

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  GlassHen on 4/16/2011, 1:27 pm

I tried Swiss chard for the first time last year and loved it. We're planting more this year. The Neon kind. I found that you can cut the leaves off the stems and prepare the stems like you would asparagus. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and pop it on the grill. Yummy!
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  pattipan on 4/16/2011, 4:12 pm

http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2008/02/baked-swiss-chard-stems-recipe-with.html



There's more chard recipes on Kalyn's blog, click the Vegetables link over on the left.

Here's some good ones from EatingWell magazine:

http://www.eatingwell.com/search/apachesolr_search/chard

I've tried the Chard & Feta tart and the Stuffed Card with Fresh Marinara Sauce -- both were exceptional! I also posted a couple of chard recipes in our SFG forum's recipe section.

Last year I grew two squares of the Bright Lights Swiss chard and it was way more than enough for the hub & me. Gave a lot away. This year I'm trying an Italian chard called Argentata. It's supposed to have a milder flavor (i.e. less oxalic taste).

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Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  sherryeo on 4/16/2011, 4:17 pm

OMG pattipan,

That dish looks soooooooo good! I'm on my way to get Chard seeds! I'm definitely gonna have to try that recipe!

We were just at the local home center for a completely different reason than gardening. I had to make my husband swear he'd keep me away from the seeds! I just can't seem to resist those little packets with the beautiful pictures on them, promising great veggies to come!
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  GlassHen on 4/16/2011, 4:29 pm

@pattipan wrote:




How cool would this dish look using bright pink stems!!! De-lish!
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  sceleste54 on 4/16/2011, 4:58 pm

This is the first year I've had any luck with Chard, but so far I'm getting a bumper crop Very Happy
I've mostly done the garlic and olive oil saute, but I've also had yummy results using the leaves as a wrapper for egg-roll type fillings and then steaming the rolls Very Happy

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  pattipan on 4/16/2011, 5:03 pm

Sherry Owens wrote:OMG pattipan,

That dish looks soooooooo good! I'm on my way to get Chard seeds! I'm definitely gonna have to try that recipe!

We were just at the local home center for a completely different reason than gardening. I had to make my husband swear he'd keep me away from the seeds! I just can't seem to resist those little packets with the beautiful pictures on them, promising great veggies to come!

Aha, another member for Seed Hoarders Anonymous! That recipe tastes as good as it looks. Actually just about any veggie tastes good with olive oil and toasty Parmesan cheese! I do zucchini the same way.

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/16/2011, 9:37 pm

So, does Chard do well in salads? Or, must it be cooked? I was too skeered to try it this year, but really think it would add to all my other leafies in the garden. I had my eyes on the neon, too. Just too cool in a side dish with all that color.
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  ashort on 4/16/2011, 9:52 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:So, does Chard do well in salads? Or, must it be cooked? I was too skeered to try it this year, but really think it would add to all my other leafies in the garden. I had my eyes on the neon, too. Just too cool in a side dish with all that color.

So far no complaints on raw in salad - I think it has an buttery flavor. I have not let it get larger than about 8-10 inches before I cut the outside leaves. I have only mixed it with other lettuces though - I have not had a chard only salad...
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  pattipan on 4/16/2011, 10:09 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:So, does Chard do well in salads? Or, must it be cooked?

You can use chard basically the same way you use spinach. And just like spinach, the younger leaves are better in salads -- they get tougher and stronger flavored when older. Think of it something like a hot weather spinach substitute.

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  Miss M on 4/17/2011, 12:07 am

@pattipan wrote:
@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:So, does Chard do well in salads? Or, must it be cooked?

You can use chard basically the same way you use spinach. And just like spinach, the younger leaves are better in salads -- they get tougher and stronger flavored when older. Think of it something like a hot weather spinach substitute.

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Really? Spinach? Maybe I'd like it, then... I've been too chicken to try it! What a Face

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  middlemamma on 4/17/2011, 12:12 am

@Miss M wrote:Really? Spinach? Maybe I'd like it, then... I've been too chicken to try it! What a Face

Me too so far....

I am just really dense about what to DO with different veggies. My cooking repertoire is very narrow. I am a good cook but I only cook a few things. I am sick of almost EVERYTHING I cook.

I had never had a turnip till this past winter...

I think I may try this too! Smile Thanks for the recipes pattipan that really is what turned it around for me. Telling me what it tastes like doesn't help me...I won't get creative and make a meal based on what it tastes like...but give me a recipe to follow and I can try something new.
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  duhh on 4/17/2011, 12:41 am

We use small chard in salads. My favorite way to eat it is in chicken noodle soup! I have also put it in stir fry, fried rice, eggs, and my husband has been juicing it lately too! It just keeps growing and growing and growing!
We planted the bright lights chard. It's very pretty
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  lisaphoto on 4/17/2011, 9:09 am

Question about planting, can I direct seed, and how many per square?
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  camprn on 4/17/2011, 9:28 am

@lisaphoto wrote:Question about planting, can I direct seed, and how many per square?
I plant about 25 per square, broadcast style, and then thin until the few plants that look great are maturing. I think I had about 10 healthy mature plants do quite well per square last year.
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  elliephant on 4/17/2011, 10:30 am

I have 5 per square and let them "take turns" as I cut them, but I do cut them really large.

ETA: Oh, and direct seeded.

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  elliephant on 4/17/2011, 10:36 am

Another was I've used it is to process a bunch at once (like you'd need to for one of those stems recipes), then roll the leaves up and cut them into bits, boil for a few minutes, drain, then put in ice cube trays (with a bit of water added as needed) to make handy cubes that I keep in a freezer bag. Then, anytime I'm making something like spaghetti sauce last night, I can toss in a couple of cubes and sneak some greens in to the kids. That way it just becomes some green bits in a familiar dish

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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  pattipan on 4/17/2011, 1:14 pm

I started with 2 squares, with 8 seeds per square, but ended up with 4 - 5 plants per square. I planted the Bright Lights type and I wanted to be sure I had all the colors, so when they got big enough to tell their colors I moved them around and eliminated a few. Mel's book recommends 4 per square and that's about right, because they do bush out quite a bit.

I thought I had taken a picture of just my chard, but I could only find this one where I was taking a pic of my sick flea-bitten eggplants. Anyway...you can get an idea of how four per square is plenty! I gave a lot away, plus had more than enough to try new recipes.



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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/17/2011, 1:28 pm

Summertime Spinach, huh? Well, I'm sold. That picture of stems looks so friggin good, too.
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  lisaphoto on 4/17/2011, 2:15 pm

I can't believe I never even heard of Swiss Chard until I was on these forums. They sound easy, hardy, and tasty. I wonder why more people don't eat or grow them.
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Re: Tell me about Swiss Chard

Post  pattipan on 4/17/2011, 2:29 pm

@lisaphoto wrote:I can't believe I never even heard of Swiss Chard until I was on these forums. They sound easy, hardy, and tasty. I wonder why more people don't eat or grow them.

I never thought about growing chard until I had a SFG. I was watching Everyday Italian on Food Network and I saw all these yummy dishes Giada De Laurentiis made with it, that's when I decided it was time!

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