Chard of the Lights brigade

Chard (also know as Swiss chard) is one of those super-charged vegetables that is packed with a high percentage of your daily vitamin and mineral needs.  Similar to plain old spinach but with added longer edible stalk giving more textural interest when lightly cooked, chard comes in various colours and is delicious sweated in a little oil or butter.

But it can sometimes taste bitter. I’ve grown the ‘Bright Lights’ rainbow mix in the past and have a love-hate relationship with it. I came to the conclusion that the red-stalked variant (also sold as rhubarb or ruby chard) is less bitter and also tastier than the other colours, so I’m just growing that this year. It has the added benefit of being the prettiest, in my opinion.

To get the crop at its best, pick the leaves when young and tender and treat as a ‘cut and come again’ crop, picking from the outside and leaving a few leaves in the centre to grow on.Sow in succession, and just a couple of plants on the go at any one time will be enough to add another choice to your weekly vegetable repertoire.

Viva la Swiss!

Spinach with eggs is a classic light supper combination and works really well with chard too. I cook the chard first then make a couple of wells and drop the eggs in. Cover with a lid, season (I used s&p and a sprinkle of sumac for some zesty notes) and keep on a low heat, checking every minute until the eggs are done to your liking.  I used bijou eggs laid by a neighbour’s Bantams… hang on to your egg boxes as they’re perfect matter for bulking up and balancing the moisture levels in your compost or wormery!

Do you grow chard? Love it or hate it? 

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