Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Party on a Plate

This year I planted a few veggies in with the perennials and annuals in the granary garden, which is just outside the back door at the homestead.  Most of my family loves Swiss Chard.  My favorite is the Bright Lights Rainbow variety.  It is so colorful.  The stems are red, orange, fuchsia, pink, creamy white, and bright yellow.  
  To harvest the chard, cut the stems close to the base.  Shake off any bugs that may be clinging to them.  Submerge the chard in water in a sink.  Swish them around to remove any dirt and bugs that made it into the house.  Drain the water and do this twice. Then wash them under running water to get them extra clean.  Cut the green leaves at their base to separate them from the stems and cut the leaves into crosswise slices.  Many people just cook the leaves, sort of like spinach, but I like to cook the stems as well.  No need to waste them; they are very tasty.  You do need to cook the stem pieces longer than the leaves, however.  Just slice the stems crosswise into bite-size pieces. 

My favorite way to prepare chard is to lightly saute' some garlic slices in a little olive oil (don't let it burn) in a large pan. Chard will wilt just like any green but the pan needs to be large when you start.  When the garlic is fragrant, add the chopped stems.   
Let them cook until they are just a bit firmer than you'd like them to end up and then add the sliced leaves to the pan (the stems will continue to cook). 
I like to add a few tablespoons of water at this point (you could use chicken broth if you have it) and
cover the pan with a lid and steam until the leaves are wilted and tender and the water has evaporated.  Splash with a good vinegar of your choice (I like balsamic) and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.   

This chard brightens up any plate and it's healthy and oh-so-good-for you.
Add it to a plate of chicken, pork or white fish and you have instant food styling!   It adds flavor and color to the plate at the same time.


  1. I've become a HUGE fan of rainbow chard lately. It's not only pretty to look at but so tasty! I love that you grew your own!

  2. This does look so colorful and healthy, and sounds tasty! Your garden looks beautiful! Sorry to say, I have never had Swiss Chard:(

    BTW, both of the meringue desserts look so perfectly dainty and pretty (I don't think my comment went through yesterday)!

  3. Great post! I love the color of the chard. I've never grown this before, but it's going on my list for next year. If it tastes half as good as it looks I'm completely sold.