Rainbow Chard

I really struggled with ordering chard seeds.  I do not have fond memories of eating chard from my childhood. 

My grandmother and grandfather always planted a huge garden on their farm.  I know perception is everything, but it seemed like they plowed up an entire acre for grandma’s garden;  I really doubt it was that big.   Nevertheless, I remember them planting rows and rows of  turnips and chard, besides  many other vegetables.

What I remember about eating turnips is that we always had them sliced and raw with lunch.  I really did not realize that turnips could be cooked and mashed until adulthood.  I simply thought they were  large radishes.

That leads me to what I remember about eating chard—it was limp, slimy, lifeless, and unappetizing.  (My grandmother was a wonderful cook, so I really hate to say that I detested her chard.)  We ate it with vinegar and even mayonnaise (I think to just add some semblance of flavor).  I had never even contemplated growing it until I saw the rainbow chard in the Cook’s Garden catalog.  I ordered the “Bright Lights” variety because it promised “all the colors of the rainbow.” 

Bright Lights Chard

Bright Lights Chard

It really is a colorful addition to our garden.  And, I found out, it is excellent to eat!  Here is a recipe I developed to use our over abundance of the chard harvest!

Garlicky Soba Noodles with Chard and Radishes

 12.8 oz. buckwheat soba noodles
1 T. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1 large bunches rainbow Swiss chard, stemmed, chopped (about 10 cups)
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
4 radishes, sliced very thin 

Place 6 cups of water in a large pot and heat to boiling. 

 Add soba noodles to boiling water and cook for three minutes while garlic and chard are stir fried. 

 Add sesame oil to the wok and heat until shimmering.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and lower heat.  Cook garlic for 1 minute.  Add chard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until chard is wilted and tender, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with vinegar and soy sauce; cook 1 minute more.

 When soba noodles are done, drain and rinse with cold water.  Place soba noodles in wok and toss to combine and reheat.  Place in serving bowl and arrange radishes on top.  Serve.

 Makes 6-8 servings.


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