Cooking with Swiss Chard

What kind of greens do you grow in your garden? Are you a tried and true lettuce or spinach lover? We eat lots of raw greens in our house, and our garden is full of several varieties. These leaves are from a colorful variety of Swiss Chard. It’s my favorite leafy green for lots of reasons.
You can plant Swiss Chard in the early season, along with your peas, lettuce and spinach. It thrives in the cool wet weather.
We also grow several varieties of lettuce and even mache, although I confess I don’t care for that one as much. The chard is my favorite, I love the different colors you get get, but you simply must try the Ruby Chard. It is so very beautiful.
You can use chard in cooking much like you use spinach. We love it in salads and quiches. It is wonderful with bacon dressing! However, all of the chard is edible, not just the leaves. 
The stems are delicious as well. Try them steamed with hollandaise sauce, or chopped in stir fry or soups. They remind me of celery.
I love chard in an omelet with goat cheese and a pinch or two of Herbs de Providence. Oh, so yummy!
If you haven’t tried chard in my Tortillini Soup, you seriously haven’t lived. It is stupendous with freshly grated parmesan cheese. 
The Italians use chard in pasta dishes sautéed with a bit of garlic, onion and butter or olive oil. I find that it is tastier than spinach (which can be bitter) and my kids love it. What kid wants to eat spinach anyway?
Chard will grow all summer in your garden. Be sure and cut it back regularly. You can even freeze it after steaming if needed. In the fall, dig some up and add it to your fall planters. It’s ruby color is even richer in the cold weather.
Have a great day!

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