The Potager

The Potager

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Potager Favorites: Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is a wonderful home garden vegetable. It is reliable, easy to grow, and lasts through the summer. It adds color to the garden and yet is not plagued by many pests.
In Europe it is a very popular vegetable. It is not from Switzerland in spite of the name. It is a Mediterranean vegetable, originating from Sicily.
Swiss Chard is also one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables you can grow. It contains beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc, and many other disease fighting antioxidants.  It is, like most dark leafy greens, high in iron and calcium. You can read about all the other health benefits of Swiss Chard at this site. They say that it helps with blood sugar regulation, bone health, brain health and more.What a great vegetable! You should plant some soon for your fall garden, if you don't have any growing now.

But once you do have it growing, you will find it is a vigorous plant. As long as you pick it, it will keep growing. You can put small chard leaves in your salad, you can saute and stir-fry mid-sized leaves, but eventually, you will have large leaves. What do you do with them?

Stuff them! You can remove the stem and treat the leaf like a cabbage leaf, softening it in hot water, and then stuffing it with your favorite stuffed cabbage recipe, or make up your own recipe, like I did.

I stuffed my chard with a mixture of ground turkey meat, cooked quinoa, sauteed chopped up swiss chard stems and onions, and herbs from the Potager. Cook it like stuffed cabbage. It's delicious!

So now that you know another way to cook Swiss Chard, make sure you get some seeds and put it in for the fall. If you plant it now through early August, you will have mid-sized leaves to harvest fall through winter. I like planting Bright Lights or Rainbow Swiss Chard for the amazing color variations.  But you can plant the all white Lyon, the all yellow El Dorado or the ordinary all red varieties.  Plant Swiss Chard - You will be glad you did!

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