Chard is one of those vegetables that I “think” I recall from my childhood, but I honestly can’t remember whether I ever ate it, or if I even liked it. I sort of remember my mother talking about something she called “Swiss Chard.” I do know I had never eaten it as an adult.
Please don’t laugh! I raised four children and fed them well, considered myself a good cook. But for some unknown reason, chard was rather intimidating. I never fed it to my children, never ventured to buy it in the grocery store. The huge dark green leaves were almost frightening.
When I started looking through Cook’s Garden catalog for seed ideas last year, the pictures were so beautiful that I just had to try some. I had no earthly idea what I would do with it once I grew it. The seed packet languished on my kitchen counter, along with other seeds I bought.
This must sound crazy to other gardeners, but I finally got up courage to plant the chard in a corner by my back door. It was beautiful, just as the seed catalog had predicted. The leaves were bright, shiny, healthy, and I still didn’t have a clue what to do with it!
I accidentally ran across a tiny paragraph in some magazine about how to cook chard, so I clipped it out. It seemed simple enough.
Last week, I picked my chard!
Following the directions, I carefully washed the leaves, cut out the tough center stem, and cut them into pieces. I sautéed garlic in extra virgin olive oil, then tossed in the chard for a quick stir.
In fact, it was so good, I’m going to plant more next time. What a delightful surprise!