Skip to main content

The jewel in the garden: red chard

Swiss chard are the only vegetables that have the same color P-O-W as flowers. I just love the brilliance of red chard.

Our chard was a slow starter. While the cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts jumped up from the ground, the chard barely grew for the longest time.  Now we're nearing harvest and the question is what can we do with it?

I get stymied about how to fix it. I just found a wonderful sounding "New York Times Cooking" recipe for Swiss Chard Slab Pie. Essentially, it's two layers of dough with a chard, onion, white wine and sour cream layer between.  The edges are crimped, the top slitted and washed with egg whites, then baked for 50 to 55 minutes.

I suspect that the filling could be made and served without being tucked into the crust.  Here's the filling recipe:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt to taste
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground ginger
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 pounds of red Swiss chard, stems separated and cut into 1/4-inch pieces and leaves roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup sour cream
Black pepper to taste
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about five minutes.  Add the coriander, ginger and red pepper flakes.  Add the chard stems and cook until just softened, about six minutes.

Stir in the chard leaves in large handfuls, letting them wilt before adding more.  Add wine, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the leaves are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a colander to cool completely and drain.  When cool, mix chard with sour cream and season with salt and pepper.

At this stage, you could enclose it in dough or a pie crust or phyllo.  But I think if it were warmed up slightly, you could serve it without the dough.

Popular posts from this blog

Hand-Knit Trellis Now Ready for Climbing Foot-Long Beans

Just as the "June" gloom is starting to burn off, I finished my knitted trellis for the garden.

It completely surrounds one of our bamboo tripods, with space at the bottom for tending the romaine lettuces growing within the tripod.

It's knit out of nylon twine on US 35 needles. While the nylon has no stretch (the way a wool yarn does), the huge gauge has loads of give. The piece was knit flat with ties attached along one edge.  It is tied to the tripod along one leg.

One some early samples for a knitted plant trellis, I experimented with lace patterns.  They look lovely, but I realized two things. One, once the plants grow up the trellis any knitting pattern is lost. Secondly, the plants and leaves need space to grow in and out of.

I used a pattern for a shawl: k1, yo, k2tog and then repeat. I got lost a number of times: the yarn-overs drifted over other stitches on occasion. As this was a speed project that won't be visible ones the beans grow over it, I didn't w…

My new favorite cauliflower recipe

We've had a couple of glorious weeks of sunshine that caused the cauliflowers to race right into the bolting stage. They've all been harvested and eaten.  We're just waiting for some spare time to take out the leaves and stems to make room for something new in the garden.

Karen and I have slightly different perspectives on what to plant: she likes novelty -- rainbow or watermelon radishes or purple or gold cauliflower; I'm more of a traditionalist; the novelty varieties never seem to turn out as well as the originals.

Tomato cages for determined vines

Last summer’s tumbling tower of tomatoes has made me rethink the standard tomato cage.  They are great for determinate tomatoes that grow like shrubs. They are useless for indeterminant tomatoes that spread out like a thoroughbred on the home stretch.

A search for alternatives led me to discover these ideas: