Tag Archives: Swiss Chard

Stuffed Chard Rolls

My career change (which I’ll elaborate more on in a future post) has afforded me two luxuries: less stress and more time!  Clearly a win-win situation, which makes me a very happy girl!  This new-found freedom if my day-to-day work-life has given me the delight of once again stepping back into the garden, albeit a smaller one, but a glorious garden none the less!

In my garden I have a small row of rainbow chard, 6 plants in all.  Knowing they are abundant producers I contemplated cutting back and only planting half of them; however, being someone who is always up for a challenge, especially one involving the kitchen, I decided to go for it!  So far I’ve received a thumbs up regarding my sautéed chard and I know this cheesy bread is sure to please his picky pallet.  Unfortunately, neither of the former foods happen to be meal worthy.  So, I started spinning my foodie wheels  to come up with something that can stand on its own.  That is when I started playing around with the idea of stuffed chard rolls! stuffed chard rolls Stuffed Chard Rolls – yields approximately 14 rolls

3/4 cup cooked lentils – I used brown

3/4 cup cooked rice – I used black Thai rice

one large bunch of chard leaves, washed with stems cut off at base of the leaf

1 leek, (white part only) chopped

1/3 cup minced garlic scapes

8 oz sour cream

2 tsp pureed salt preserved lemons – zest and juice of 1/2 lemon can be substituted

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

olive oil

Greek yogurt – optional

Cook rice and lentils using a 2/1 ratio of water to rice/lentils.  Depending on what varieties you select this can take anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes.  Once they have finished cooking set aside.  Place a large saute pan over med heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Cook scapes and leeks until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.  Add rice, lentils, and sour cream; mix well.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic power, add pureed lemon and feta cheese, stir well to combine. Blanch chard leaves 3 or 4 at a time in boiling water for approximately a minute, remove from water and lay flat.  If the center rib is too thick and does not bend without tearing the leaf, then cut it out. chard leaf

chard leaf cut Once the rib has been removed gently overlap the two sides. chard leaf overlap Place several tablespoons of filling at the base of the leaf.  Tightly roll the leaf around the filling while tucking the sides in. chard leaf filling Place rolls into a baking dish seam side down and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. chard leaf rolled  Stuffed chard rolls can be enjoyed hot or cold and are delicious when paired with a side of Greek yogurt.  I can see myself making a version of these with ground beef and a cheesy red sauce; this will definitely make my carnivore a very happy boy! stuffed chard rolls 3 Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.

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Wordless Wednesday: Spring Growth Edition

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Garden Tour and My Battle with Blight

Last weekend, I spent most of Friday night, all of Saturday morning and some of Monday afternoon tackling the beginnings of late blight on my tomatoes.  Late blight is usually our precursor to the ever loathsome dog days of summer.  Every July, the bottom leaves develop spots, turn yellow, shrivel up, and die, leaving my tomato plants looking like a sad mess.  Thankfully, late blight seems to favor my leaves and not the actual fruit itself.  However, it can affect and destroy the leaves, stems, fruits, and tubers of potato and tomato plants.  Late blight was responsible for the Irish Potato Famine.

Late blight spores are asexual and are spread by rain splash and wind currents.  One way to slow down this ugly fungus-like pathogen is to begin removing the infected leaves as soon as they appear.  I should have started that task around Tuesday, but alas, I had too much other stuff to tend to.  By the time I got into the garden Friday, it had spread through the first three rows of my tomatoes.  My Cream Sausage were the hardest hit.  Since they are a determinant variety, I will be pulling them after the harvest.  My Amish Paste, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple and Green Zebras are all indeterminant varieties, so I will continue to clip off leaves and suckers well into the fall till our first hard frost.

And now, I shall take you on a 365 degree tour of the main garden!

Several of my sunflowers had what appeared to be powdery mildew, so I pulled them.  I’ve started new ones for transplant.  Two weeks ago, I pulled the sugar snap peas and rebuilt the trellis to accommodate my tiger melons, which I will be growing vertically.  My bush peas will most likely be pulled this weekend and replaced with winter squash.  Carrots were next to the bush peas, but I pulled them after the picture was taken.  The brassicas will most likely come out next week.  Some are forming heads and others I don’t believe ever will.  I will be planting carrots, beets, and beans in that space.

After the empty space on the left is celery, then Brussels sprouts.  They may or may not do anything.  Regardless, I am going to give them another go this Fall!  I love me some Brussels sprouts sautéed in an obnoxious amount of butter and garlic!!  And now begins the tomatoes.

L-R Cream Sausage, Amish Paste, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple, and Green Zebra.  I think it took me a total of about 10 hours to cut out all the blight damaged leaves.  I also thinned out the suckers (stems that will never flower) and restaked everything!  You can now walk down each path; by thinning out leaves, I’ve increased air circulation, which will hopefully help in protecting against other tomato diseases!

Some of my tomato plants have reached a height of 6 feet, they are now taller than me! 🙂  I did some companion planting this year and placed a row of carrots between the Green Zebras and the Purple Tomatillos, they were shaded by the rapid growth of the plants flanking them.  After the leaf trimming, they are getting more light, but it will be a slow grow for them!  This is my first year for tomatillos and I did not realize just how big they got!  I did not stake them, but they are holding up well.  I may go in with supports later if they begin to look stressed.  To the very right of the picture are my ground cherries.   Only two made it and they are thriving; I’ve started two more that now have true leaves.

Beans, beets, beans, and cucumbers!  I’m going to seed more carrots next to the last planting of beans.  If I need to, I will trellis my cukes to keep them off the ground and away from my carrots, which is most likely the case.

And as we continue along the backside…

Zucchini and purslane are behind the tomatoes.  Yes, I eat purslane.  Yes, I know it is a weed.  I have more summer squash growing in the front garden, along with kale and onions…but this post is all about the main garden.

I ended up losing two Swiss chard earlier this year.  I’ve never had them bolt from the heat in their first year till now!  I’m going to start more for my cold frames, and hopefully extend my harvest well into the winter months.  Next to my chard are alternating rows of beets and carrots.  They will soon be ready for harvest.  In front of those are my newly seeded French breakfast radishes.  So far they are doing well!  Next are beets that I have slowly been pulling.

And finally, the remaining brassicas, peas, sunflowers and some empty growing space that will soon be covered with winter squash!

Well, that’s it.  You have now just circled my main garden.  Hope you enjoyed the tour! 🙂

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Lentils, mixed greens and a few veggies for good measure.

Last night I was not in the mood to cook.  Like not at all.  That has been the running theme this past week.  I’ve been living on fresh-picked garden salads, and soups squirreled away in anticipation for such meals.  The weather got real hot real fast.  Not cool.  I know my remaining brassicas are going to bolt just like most of the bok choy did last week.  This is exactly what happened last year.  Of my 12 plants I ended up with one small broccoli crown.  This year I have over 40 in the ground.  I have a feeling broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower will now be fall plantings, unless I can get them in the ground by early March.

When the weather is hot I lose my appetite.  Typically, I drink fruit smoothies and snack on tomatoes, peas, zucchini, and beans while working in the garden; once the sun sets I may have some toast and jam, but not much more.  After spending much of yesterday outside, when 7 o’clock rolled around I suddenly realized I hadn’t eaten much and I was starving, and of course, had no desire to cook.  Lentils to the rescue!

I love lentils; maybe it’s their earthy flavor, versatility, or the quickness to which they cook up. Regardless, they are a staple in my diet.

Lentils and Mixed Greens (makes 2 small servings)

1 cup dry lentils

1 1/2 c water

1/2 med onion, chopped

3 mushrooms, chopped

1/2 qt canned Amish paste tomatoes

handful mixed greens – I used Swiss chard, bok choy and mustard greens.

2 Tsp garlic salt

2 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp yellow curry powder

fresh ground pepper to taste

olive oil

Rinse and sort lentils removing debris, place in a small sauce pan, add water.  Bring to a boil, after 3 minutes reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Once lentils are cooked add cumin and curry powder, set aside.

Place onion in heated skillet.  Most of my cooking is done in cast iron (which gets wicked hot) so I set the heat at med-low to keep things from burning.  After onion begins to brown (2-3 minutes) add mushrooms, continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, add tomatoes and greens.  Cover approximately 2 minutes to wilt the greens.  Add garlic salt and pepper, spoon on top a bed of lentils and enjoy.

I think when I reheat the leftovers I will add some fresh cilantro, basil would make a nice addition too, if my plants weren’t 3 inches tall!

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Gotta Eat Your Greens

I’ve been smitten with Rainbow Chard for quite some time. I believe it may be my favorite green to eat and grow, next to kale and bok choy of course! What is that you say? You’re not on the up and up with your daily dose of greens!! Fear not friends, Epicurious has you covered! Not only have they provided a visual cooking guide, but tons of savory recipes to enjoy as well!
A few days ago I noticed my friend, Heather, upload a picture of her first CSA share. She was questioning the identity of one of her veggies, which happened to be baby bok choy. The thread then led to a discussion about spinach bread. It just so happened I was smack dab in the middle of baking bread and inspiration took hold! I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use chard so why not add it to my bread!
Rainbow Chard Buttermilk Bread
inspired by Heather
1 1/3 C buttermilk
3 Tbsp softened butter or oil
1 1/2 Tsp lemon juice
2 Tsp salt
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 C whole wheat flour
3 C bread flour
2 Tsp active dry yeast
4 cloves garlic
colander full of chard leaves, stalks and veins removed
grated cheese (I used cheddar)
warm water
olive oil
Place yeast in a small glass or bowl and add enough warm water to allow it to proof. Make sure the water is not too hot or you will kill your yeast. Set aside for about 10 minutes. You will know if your yeast is still active when it beings to foam and rise.
In a large bowl mix butter, brown sugar, buttermilk and lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl blend together both flours and salt. Once your yeast has proofed add it to the wet ingredients and mix. Slowly add dry to wet, mixing until a sticky dough forms. Kneed dough on a well floured surface approximately 10 minutes and place in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth, and set it in a warm spot to rise.
Just before my dough finished rising I ventured into my garden and picked approximately 10 large leaves of rainbow chard. With stalks and ribs removed wash the leaves and saute them with garlic and olive oil. Once the leaves have wilted remove them from the heat.
Divide dough into two equal portions. I placed one section into a greased bread pan to be baked for my morning toast, the other I rolled flat.
Spread the sautéed greens and garlic onto the dough and top it off with a bit of freshly grated cheese. I used cheddar because that is what I had on hand.
Carefully roll your dough, sealing the greens inside, and pinch ends closed. Place with seam side down into a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 for 23-27 minutes or until loaves are golden brown.
Allow to cool, slice and try not to consume the entire loaf! Trust me, that is not an easy task! I found it very difficult to walk away from this warm, fresh from the oven bread!
Thanks again Heather, for the delicious inspiration! She mentioned making her bread with pizza dough, mozzarella and spinach. I will definitely have to try that next! I think I may also add a bit of pepper flakes for a bit of heat, once Pennsylvania drops out of the triple digits that is!

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Summer Solstice Time Well Spent

With yesterday being the Summer Solstice, I felt it only fitting to spend some quality time in my gardens tending to my plants.  (As if I don’t do that on a daily basis already!)  I pulled weeds, picked peas, and replanted some lettuce, radishes, and beets.  Yes, I know radishes and lettuce are Spring and Fall crops, but I’ve been known to throw caution to the wind and put them in the ground anyway.  True they don’t like the hot summer months, but I’ve found that with a bit of love and extra watering, I’m still able to get a good harvest.  Besides, I’m obsessed with growing plants and I will continue to be in my garden well through November, hopefully December, barring any serious snow.  Of course my camera was in-hand, so here is what I’ve got growing on as of late.

Violet Pole Beans
Romanesco and Green Sprouting Broccoli
Rainbow Chard
Ruby Red Sweet Corn
Cucumbers aka PICKLES!!!!
Stuttgarter Onions
Peas
Spaghetti Squash
Spring Mix
Tomatoes
Zucchini
L-R Sunflowers, Corn, Peas Pole Beans
L-R Pole Beans, Carrots, Radishes, Spinach & Spring Mix, Onions, Beets
L-R Carrots, Radishes, Spinach & Spring Mix, Onions, Beets, more Onions, Broccoli
L-R Broccoli, Bush Beans, just planted Radishes, Golden Beans
L-R Onions, Mustard Greens, Carrots
L-R Carrots, Pole Beans, Peas

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