The Grapevine: The Lowdown on Using Swiss Chard

By Rosalyn Queen on July 06, 2023 from The Grapevine via

Hooray, it’s summer.  Well, I bet many of you are saying the same thing because of the July 4 holiday, because the pools are open, because vacation time is here and because there are beautiful flowers in bloom everywhere.  Yes, these are all true, but my reason is that I have had my first batch of Swiss chard. Everyone is allowed their own reasons.
This past week, Rose Scolapio sent me a nice mess of Swiss chard from her garden.  It was one of the best I have received, but then maybe I was just overanxious to get them.  They were so tender and easy to clean. 
This type of chard had a red vein going through it.  The leaves with the larger veins required that I remove them. As I cleaned the leaves, I tore the larger ones in half.  After they were cleaned, I put them in a large kettle and covered them with cold water.  After the water came to a boil, I turned the fire down and added four cloves of fresh garlic with a tablespoon of salt.  Once the chard was cooked, I drained them in a strainer and squeezed out the excess water.  I placed them in a bowl and put them in the refrigerator.
Now the biggest plan of all is how am I going to prepare them.  One of my favorite dishes is minestra.  If I choose this, I will place the chard in a kettle, add chicken broth and when it comes to a boil, I will add four peeled and quartered potatoes.  I will also add a can of drained kidney beans. Cover the pan and let cook slowly until the potatoes are tender.  If you prefer a meat, serve with a link of cooked Italian sausage.  Compliment it with a tomato salad and fresh Italian bread.
The other way I like to prepare chard is to take it, after boiled, and place some olive oil in a skillet, brown some onions and garlic, add a pepper or two and cook it. Once tender, add the chard and stir.  Eat it with peppers, with a salad, and fresh Italian bread; this is a vegetarian meal in itself.
Swiss chard will be available at the farmers markets if you did not plant any.  It will not be long until our gardens will be producing bumper crops.  Rose tells me she is also getting peppers.  She really made my day.
Have a safe holiday, stay healthy and until next week “Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine.”

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