Thursday, August 16, 2012

Preserving Swiss Chard

The Swiss chard in my garden had gone largely unnoticed in favor of the main warm weather veggies.  When I finally got around to checking in on them, they had gone bonkers.  I had them covered with shade clothe to protect them from leaf miners.  It worked.  The leaves were nice and untunneled.  I harvested about 3 pounds of Swiss chard this week.  YIKES!!  What to do with all that Swiss chard??  I preserved some of it and you'll see 3 ways I used the entire harvest this week.  

My dad is still visiting from Hawaii.  He made a yummy Oven Roasted Kalua Pig one night.  In addition to the traditional spinach, we threw in about a pound of Swiss Chard leaves and some sweet potatoes.

I really liked the texture of the Swiss chard in this.  Because the kalua pork slow roasts in the oven, the frozen spinach becomes mushy.  The Swiss chard, on the other hand, cooks down beautifully but maintains a nice firm texture.  If you're familiar with Hawaiian cooking, it's sorta like lau lau leaves but much tastier!  Two thumbs up and note to self when I make this next time....use Swiss chard!

The rest of the Swiss chard leaves were chopped and blanched in hot water then squeezed dry.  They were placed in Food Saver bags and frozen for another meal (maybe more kalua!). 

Lastly, I hate to waste the beautiful Swiss chard stems so I save them and make Swiss chard stem refrigerator pickles.  You can find the recipe I use here.  I love how pretty they look!

I made some minor changes to the quantities of ingredients in the recipes (based on previous attempts):
1 1/2 c. Swiss chard stems, chopped
1 c. distilled white vinegar
1 and 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 and 1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. dill seed

Whew!  That Swiss chard gave me a run for my money!

**Linking up to Robin's Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard at The Gardener of Eden**


Robin said...

Everything looks wonderful! I'd love to come to your place to eat when your dad is there!

The chard pickles are absolutely beautiful! I would have never thought to pickle chard.

Liz said...

I really like the idea of turning the stems into pickles - really clever!