Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Mountain of Chard...


A couple of weeks ago it became obvious to me it was time to pick the golden chard.  It grew beautifully this spring but the leaves were getting very large and once that happens, the chard turns tough and fibrous and I don't like it any more. 

So, it was time to pick it, blanch it and freeze it for the fall.  And that's what I did.  But what a tedious task.

I had to remove the tough stem off every single piece of chard you see on my counter above, 

wash it, slice the leaves into ribbons,

blanch it bunch by bunch in boiling hot water,

chill it down in an ice water bath, wring the water out and separate the cooked chard into two cup bunches.  It took me nearly all day. 

And when I was done, I only had eight cups of blanched chard to show for it!  Chard is like spinach, it cooks down to nothing. 


But hey, that's OK.  I was able to process and freeze all of it, although I still have another 2 rows of chard growing in with my peppers.  But they are much younger and I will likely use it up before I have to blanch and freeze it all.

So now I have all this lovely, fresh chard in my freezer ready to throw into soups and stews this fall and winter.  Was it worth the bet it was :) 


  1. Diane, didn't you use the stalks? I think they are the best bit. You can steam them just like you would with Asparagus, or cook them "au gratin". But maybe the stems had gone past the useable stage??

  2. Love your blog! Always getting good veggie/food tips :-)

  3. Hi Mark...I haven't used the stems in anything. I wasn't sure they were good when cooked :/ I feel like I've wasted a few good meals :( This is my first year growing chard so I'm not completely up on what to do with it. But a chard "au gratin" sounds yummy! I have more chard in another part of my garden that I will surely make into an au gratin. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Dice the stems like celery and cook up in a pan with a dash of mirin (and a dash of ginger)