Chard, my other love

Lucullus chard and red onion on a chopping board

I’ve confessed here before that I think I love chard even more than I love kale (and feel guilty saying so), and I’ve certainly been making a lot of time for it recently. In tandem with cooking with kale, I’ve been creating room in the kitchen for chard. Last year was my first ever growing chard, and I exclusively grew Swiss Rainbow Chard, which is just so darn pretty and impressive with its coloured stalks. This year I added pale green Lucullus Chard to the mix, and I must say it’s rather nice. Earlier this summer I planted some Rhubarb Chard (so-called for its deep red, rhubarb-like stalks), though I’m not sure that we’re going to see much action there (the drought hasn’t been so great for succession planting).

The other night it was getting late and I was in need of a super quick supper that made use of some of our current harvest: chard and tomatoes. I was in the mood for a very fresh pasta dish, and having just enjoyed my own take on a gorgeous Heirloom Tomato Tart from Mama’s Gotta Bake, I was of a mind to employ goat’s cheese once again (a relatively rare treat for me). So, with chard, tomatoes and goat’s cheese as the main actors, I got to work.

Water on to boil for pasta, I warmed a saute pan with olive oil, ready to accept some diced red onion, whole cherry tomatoes and ribbons of chard. In a glass boil I blended the goat’s cheese with torn red basil from my garden, salt, pepper and garlic, and later added some of the pasta water to make more of a paste.

Glass bowl with goat's cheese, basil and seasoning

Cherry tomatoes and red onion in a saute pan

The resulting dish was lightning fast to make, and both extremely fresh and unctuous, a particularly nice combination for comfort food. I’d make it again in a heartbeat.

Pasta with chard, cherry tomatoes and goats cheese

Tonight, after a busy day road-tripping with our boys and the dog, I made a quick trip to the greenhouse to water everything, and harvest a big basket of tomatoes. I also picked more chard on the way back to the house, and made a batch of chard pesto, which has become one of my new favourite super-fast dishes this summer. Chard pesto has made appearances throughout July and August, and I see no reason to stop as long as the chard keeps producing – it’s so good!

Ingredients in mixer for chard pesto

I made enough for two jam jars and a small bowl, pictured here.

Chard pesto in a pretty bowl

Love you chard; just don’t tell kale!

10 thoughts on “Chard, my other love

  1. Another great staple for me. Lives through just about anything that chard. I think next summer I’m going to have a garden that is solely devoted to that which ALWAYS works, so chard and kale. 😉

  2. Chard pesto – what a great idea.
    I have a 60 ft bed of volunteer chard and kale that went to seed – I got it tilled this year, after two years resting from being a composting manure pile, and never got around to doing anything with it – the result was a huge crop of kale and a decent patch of chard. And a lot of weeds 🙂

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