24 Oct Marianne’s Swiss Chard – On Guard!
Garden show favorite Marianne Binetti shares her recipe for using Swiss Chard all winter, saying it’s her formula for good health: “It keeps me on guard against colds, flues, poor eyesight, bad skin, gum disease, bunions, and Post Vacation Stress Disorder.”
Marianne is the author of many books (too many to list!) including Edible Gardens for Washington & Oregon. Her latest book, Vegetables for Washington & Oregon, will be published by Lonepine Press in February, 2012. She will be speaking at the show on “Garden Opera: Drama, Divas and Heroes in the Garden”, on Sunday, February 12 at 2:00 pm in the Hood Room.
One freshly harvested leaf of Swiss Chard, preferably the color full variety of “Bright Lights” or the pink stemmed “Magenta Sunset”. Grow different kinds so you can have a good selection, plus they add a colorful punch to the garden!
If you are fussy you can rinse off the leaf. If you are not and believe that a few bugs just add protein (hey, they even eat snails in France) and a bit of dirt increases your resistance to allergies, then you can gamble and not wash your single leaf.
Marianne’s note: There is a reason all those poor farm people during the Middle Ages were called hearty pheasant stock. They were surrounded with dirt. I suspect they never washed their Swiss Chard. Therefore they were the ones that survived the Black Death, whooping cough, lack of affordable health care and the French Revolutions. They also could not afford doctors that would have placed blood sucking leaches on their arms – seriously!
This is the simplest recipe you will ever find. Simply add that single Swiss Chard leaf fresh to a sandwich, soup, stew or salad. Whatever you want, just add a leaf to boost the health quotient to your weal.
If the stem is too tough cut it up and put it into something hot to cook.
If the leaf has gray spots or squiggles (probably leaf minors) cut it out. I do wash the dishes and so I should note that “Swiss Chard – On Guard” is the perfect recipe because it involves no cooking and no dirty dishes. So there’s more time for you to spend in the garden! So head to the nursery and buy Swiss Chard plants and Swiss Chard seeds, and then plant, harvest and enjoy one leaf a day. Now stay out of the kitchen and get into the garden.
The 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show seminar program will have 30 seminars devoted to edible gardening. Some of the many things you can learn will be how to start seeds, what to plant when, winter edible gardens, growing edibles in containers, making classic English potagers, gardening with chickens, correct edible harvest techniques, and how to design beautiful, bountiful edible gardens. Look for the full schedule soon on our website. ~ Janet