Skip to main content

Garden Spotlight: Swiss Chard

This year we decided to grow Swiss Chard over the cold winter season in our area. (Zone 10a, The Central Coast of California) Temperatures in our area seldom drop below freezing but they have been in the mid 30's and low 40's. We've also had an above average rainy Winter after several years of drought. We direct sowed the chard seeds right before our first frost date, around the middle of December, knowing that as the weather progressed, they would be one of the first things up in the January / February garden. This year our greens progression started with arugula followed by our spinach and now the beautiful chard and kale. We are so lucky to live where gardening can happen nearly all year round. 

This year we tried a Chard Variety called Bright Lights; beautiful yellows, reds and a beet colored pink. They are so beautiful in the garden with their celery type stalks and dark green tops. From its name, Swiss Chard, you would think it began its life in Switzerland but it was named SWISS chard because the botanist that discovered it was from Switzerland. Swiss chard is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, K as well as iron, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber. But be careful if you're prone to kidney stones because it is also contains between 200 and 640 oxalates. Remember your Mom telling you to be sure to "Eat The Rainbow" when it comes to vegetables? That's because coloration of fruits and vegetables are caused by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun’s harmful rays, and other threats. In addition, each color indicates an abundance of specific nutrients. Today I pulled a purple carrot and was surprised to find bright orange insides and the most wonderful taste! But let's hold that veggie for another time. 

So what does chard taste like? Chard tastes "earthy", something like beets or spinach depending on if you are eating the stem or the leaves. It is a distant relative of the beet so it should come as no surprise. You will find it served in many Mediterranean Dishes because it blends well with white beans, polenta, chickpeas, lentils, eggs and much more. At the end of this article, I'm going to be including ways to incorporate Chard into your diet. 

Both the stems and leaves can be eaten and cooked separately or together. Allow for the stems to have a head start in the cooking process and toss the green leaves in at the end. I like to do a frittata with diced stems, onions, garlic, bacon bits, cut up chard leaves and scrambled eggs with a sharp feta cheese mixed in with it. So GOOD!!

Chard is an extremely versatile kitchen garden veggie and can be boiled, sauteed, roasted in the oven mixed in with other veggies, pastas and beans. And as you can see from the list below, it can even be served up in a dessert tart! 

To grow chard in your garden you will need a spot featuring full sun to partial shade. Plants can be  spaced 12" to 18" apart in a row and love a soil PH between 6.0 to 6.8 with organic material mixed in. They require 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week and adding a mulch layer keeps the stems clean when they are watered.

Here are a few ways you can begin enjoying your chard. Whether from your own garden or eaten in season from the local Farmers Market, I think you will find Chard to be a tasty and healthy addition to your diet.

Fermented Rainbow Chard Stems

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta
Braised White Beans with Chard
Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup With Swiss Chard
Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
Swiss Chard Hazelnut Dessert Tart
31 Creative Swiss Chard Recipes



Popular posts from this blog

Coffee T. Rice House

Isn't this a beautiful Victorian Style home? You can't see all of it because of the shrubbery and trailer park at the base of the house. It made me curious about the history of the house so I looked it up. Here is what I found. This is the historical information I found written  HERE . Coffee T. Rice House Oceano, California History and Description: Coffee T. Rice was a wealthy financier, with enterprises throughout the State, who migrated from Ohio to San Francisco. When a railroad was surveyed through this area he envisioned an industrial center here and acquired various properties close to the right of way. He introduced celery production to the area. Rice started construction on his home in 1885 using the same craftsmen that were working on the Pitkin House. The house originally had 20 rooms and was painted yellow. Surrounded by well-kept grounds with various trees and a sundial, the house was approached by an oval driveway and a stone-pillared entryway. The grounds also in

Baby Shower Busy-ness

Ok, you probably thought I fell off the face of the earth right? Nope, there is just alot happening around here. The next event is Beckie's Baby Shower this Sunday. Decided to make my very first Diaper Cake and these are just a few of the pictures. The first thing I did was watch about 20 YouTube videos describing how to do it. Then I bought my supplies and put it together roughly first then more refined about a day later. This is a close up of the baby sock roses with mitten leaves. Yes, that video DOES exist! Next is a close up of wrist rattles and a little caterpiller radio that makes soothing sounds for baby. Background ribbon is from WalMart and the blanket set is from the Jungle Adventure Collection at K-mart. The topper for our "Jungle" themed cake is a Silver Back Ganz Gorilla . These little links slipped easily over the ribbon and added a little extra bling to the sides of the cake. Each layer consists of diapers along with extras like washcloths, burp pads and

Norwegian Pancakes (Norska Pannekaken)

Every culture has its pancake and this is the Norwegian version, a very light, crepe-like pancake that goes with just about anything. These "pancakes" are light and eggy and go with both sweet and savory fillings. When my chickens start up laying eggs in the Spring, we LOVE to make these pancakes, freezing the excess for another day. Yes, they freeze and thaw perfectly! Most people have the simple ingredients on their shelves and in their refrigerators SO LET'S GO! Original Recipe Can Be Found on the Outside Oslo Website   Here . Norska Pannekaken 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon Scandinavian vanilla sugar* 3 eggs 1 1/2 cups whole milk 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan Mix all ingredients except butter in a medium-sized bowl using a whisk or fork until the batter is smooth and you have no lumps. Stir in butter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the batter rest. Meanwhile, warm a