Chard’s Great Moment

I decided to reblog this older post because I want to say again that, although I am not crazy about Swiss chard in hot weather, the fall leaves and most particularly the wonderful meaty sweet early spring leaves are one of the most delicious greens that you will ever eat. So devote some space to it now for a big benefit later.

My urban homestead

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In my garden, this is the time to plant Swiss chard. It grows slowly in summer heat and gets a new lease on life in the fall, which is when I start eating it.  It goes dormant for the winter, and then in spring it emerges again and gradually progresses to making enormous leaves over a foot long.  These early spring leaves are very thick and meaty, and have a taste that has the umami elements of meat, but is mild and clean.  These early spring leaves are the ones that I eat, in huge quantities.  They are great cooked, and this is the only time of year that I love chard as a salad green. As soon as the plant starts to bolt to seed, the leaves of the elongating stalk acquire a rather dreadful dirty taste.  Interestingly, the large thick leaves at the base retain their mild…

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