June 30, 2014
I nominate Swiss chard as an edible garden superstar. In my coastal garden it produces year round and rarely bolts. ‘Bright Lights’ (above) could be mixed with perennials to good effect. In the vegetable garden it adds bursts of color. And I’ve not mentioned its nutrition value.
Chard may be the most photographed vegetable in my garden. Who can resist capturing the backlit leaves?
The chard harvests featured in this post are from seed planted in September. The plants were looking ragged so I removed the bird and insect damaged leaves instead of sending the whole lot to the compost pile. Underneath were pristine, shiny leaves. I salvaged two bags of decent leaves to share with friends and had a pile for my uses.
I shored up the mulch and gave the row a drink of fish emulsion fertilizer. There’s still chard in my future.
Shredded Swiss Chard Salad: I washed and dried my leaves and removed the heaviest midribs. The colorful stems were stored to throw into fruit smoothies.
Stacking the leaves in a pile, I rolled them up tightly, like a cigar.
Then I thinly sliced the roll crosswise into very fine strands.
I tossed the shredded chard with a garlic vinaigrette and red pepper flakes. Sometimes I top the salad with feta cheese,
this time, just a few strips of orange bell pepper. The chiffonette salad was the perfect companion to Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios.
And we’re savoring the last of the apricots.
I hope you are enjoying (or anticipating) your garden harvests. To see what gardeners around the world are growing, check the links at Daphne’s Dandelions.