Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Swiss Chard & A Little Self Promotion


Swiss Chard Is The New Celery

The year I turned 30, I had two friends who turned 60, and I took full advantage of the situation.

"Save me some trouble," I said, "and tell me the most valuable thing you've learned in the last 30 years."

The first one offered up a piece of advice I've tried to abide by ever since. He said, "Be happy, not resentful or envious, when good things happen to other people."

But it was seven words of wisdom from the second friend that truly changed my life: "Always plant Swiss chard in the garden."

Many of you know about my longtime love affair with Nero di Toscana cabbage. And while that flame will certainly never fizzle, I have to admit that if I were allowed to grow only one dark leafy green for the rest of my life, I would have to choose Swiss chard.

I've been meaning to write about how enamored I am with this hardy, versatile, and gorgeous vegetable since, oh, about the time I started blogging. A few months ago I realized that for once my procrastination paid off. When an editor at NPR.org asked if I'd be interested in contributing to 'Kitchen Window,' their weekly online food and recipe column, it didn't take me long to come up with the perfect topic for my first piece: Swiss chard.

"Letting Leafy Greens Into Your Life" can be found here. It includes two of my Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes, both of which I am now officially addicted to: Swiss Chard Tuna Salad and Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip. In the sidebar you'll find detailed instructions on how to grow your own Swiss chard (it's easier than you might think and can even be done in containers).

If you enjoy the article, or if you have delicious success with one or both of the recipes, I'd love it if you'd take a minute to leave a comment on 'Kitchen Window.' It's a little different than leaving a blog comment; just click on the 'Write To Kitchen Window' link located in the upper right side of the page and fill in the blanks. Thanks so much.

Oh, and be sure to check out the other 'Kitchen Window' columns, especially "Restoring Humble Pot Pie To Its Rightful Place" and "Chowders Lighten Up" which my bread baking buddy Kevin managed to write even though he's been busy covering for me (along with my pal Beth) over at our new project, A Year In Bread.

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12 comments:

  1. Hey Susan...congratulations on the NPR gig! That's fabulous...it even moved me to use a word that I almost never use! (fabulous)

    And thanks for bringing swiss chard to the fore...the folks at my CSA farm (Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, Maine) must have studied with the same guru you consulted, because they produce TONS of s.chard...and I can't wait...!

    best, Stephen

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  2. Congratulations!
    Wow, I love chard like crazy, but if forced to make the choice, I think I'd have to go with the Tuscan kale. Oooh, but the pretty stems. . . now I just don't know.

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  3. OH MY GOSH!!! That was YOUR article I devoured on NPR.org this afternoon?!? HOLY COW!!!!! I started reading your newest post, thinking, "Heyyyyy...didn't I see this exact same article earlier today?" Then I scrolled down and saw it WAS yours!

    That is SO FREAKING AWESOME, Farmgirl! And now I'm going to hit the farmer's market and look for Swiss chard.

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  4. congrats on the NPR piece. I planted Swiss chard for the first time this past year and will never, EVER, be without it again. I'm planting Bright LIghts, Ruby, and a yellow variety. Beauty and flavor! This will be my first year for planting Toscana Kale, and I'm hoping I love it as much.

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  5. Thanks for doing what you do... reminding us of the good things that we should never take for granted. Chard rules!

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  6. Congratulations on your new writing thing! I am pleased with the instructions for sowing swiss chard because I have a pack of seeds just ready to go in. I'll get them in as soon as I am back from vacation :)

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  7. Hey, when did you have time to visit my garden? Especially with NPR knocking on your door. I have colorful chard seedlings along with those beets. So now I'm really looking forward to my first every chard crop. What a fun and helpful article too. Congratulations!

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  8. Hey, when did you have time to visit my garden? Especially with NPR knocking on your door. I have colorful chard seedlings along with those beets. So now I'm really looking forward to my first every chard crop. What a fun and helpful article too. Congratulations!

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  9. Yes, too many folk still have not discovered what a great vegetable Swiss chard can be. We grow lots, right here in our front yard garden in the District of Columbia. As we get closer to summer, I will be taking it to the tiny produce stand we operate in front of my daughter's charter school to raise funds for seeds. Hardly anyone buys the Swiss chard, even though it is one of the most beautiful things from the garden. They just don't know.

    I'm still mystified why people fixate on the green parts. The stems are so much tastier. My favorite cooking method is to braise the leaves and stems, cut into pieces, with red onions, then season with red wine vinegar and pomegranate molasses.

    http://www.theslowcook.blogspot.com/

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  10. I have totally used Swiss Chard in place of spinach in artichoke dip, so delicious!

    Thanks for your great blog, I really enjoy it.

    What kind of chicks did you end up ordering?

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  11. Swiss chard is my all-time favorite green - and most people have never heard of it!! Living in northern New England, I need to find as many garden crops that can withstand quickly changing seasons. Swiss chard lasts through several frosts, and sprouts quickly from the cool spring soil. I always plant Johnny's Select Seeds Bright Lights mix; beautiful colors in the garden and on the plate. One of my favorite ways to prepare Swiss chard is parboiling the leaves, spreading them with ricotta cheese filling and then rolling them like stuffed grape leaves. I can't wait for summer!!

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  12. mmmm.... what a tasty tuna salad! So glad to have more recipes for the mountains of swiss chard in my kitchen. Many many thanks!

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