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  1. #1
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    Default Swiss Chard - Help Please

    Yesterday I bought some tiny swiss chard plants - the garden centre didn't have any spinach and I wanted something to grow in the winter.

    Here's the thing - I've heard of swiss chard, never cooked it, never eaten it, never seen it selling at the supermarket - never seen it at all, except for these little tiny plants.

    Any help for growing and cooking would be great, also help with knowing when and how to pick - like, do you pick off leaves or is it a whole head (like cabbage)?

    Spread the knowledge please, folks - I'm waiting for the words of the wise.
    My hopes are not always realized but I always hope (Ovid)

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  2. #2
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
    Two_Sheds is offline Compost Everything...
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    Cook and eat just like you would spinach. I like it steamed or stir fried, covered in chilli soy sauce.

    Pick off the leaves as you need them. The outside ones are tougher than the baby ones in the middle.

    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  3. #3
    MaureenHall's Avatar
    MaureenHall is offline Early Fruiter
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    I cut the leafy part from the stem, chop the stem into 1" or so pieces and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chopped leaves for the last minute. Very delicate flavour but really nice. I tried it for the first time this year and now just got a couple of rows of it in at the lottie, red and white
    My girls found their way into my heart and now they nest there

  4. #4
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    The stems look a bit like celery (unless you have a coloured version!) but taste like a very mild beetroot. The leaves have a similar flavour and can be cooked like spinach - the stems need to be cooked for slightly longer in my opinion. Nice!
    Warning: I have a dangerous tendency to act like I know what I'm talking about.

  5. #5
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    I grow loads of Chard and it is a regular feature in my veg boxes. You can use it at any stage from baby leaf ( in salads) right through to mature. When mature you can use the leaves as a spinach substitute ( though they don't cook away to nothing like the spinach leaves do) and the stems can be braised.
    Basically, any reciipe that calls for spinach can use chard.
    For more hints and tips and recipes for chard visit www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk.
    Rat

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  6. #6
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    Thanks a million for all the info, I'm looking forward to seeing it grow - as I said at the beginning, I knew nothing about it and believe it or not, the assistant in the garden centre knew nothing either!
    My hopes are not always realized but I always hope (Ovid)

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  7. #7
    MaureenHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maytreefrannie View Post
    believe it or not, the assistant in the garden centre knew nothing either!
    Oh I do believe it!!! The majority of assistants at garden centres don't have a clue about what they're selling, when to sow, how to care for, when harvest is likely, what to do with the final result etc. So sad but very true, they're mostly on minimum wage so why bother! One of my grandaughters was a garden centre assistant for a short while and she said they just had to pass on serious enquiries to the manager (2 years older than her!) otherwise to tell the customer that the information could be found on a website
    My girls found their way into my heart and now they nest there

  8. #8
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    Maureen, that sounds remarkably like the garden centres around here!
    My hopes are not always realized but I always hope (Ovid)

    www.fransverse.blogspot.com

    www.franscription.blogspot.com

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