Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gardening with Kids: Rainbow Chard

We don't garden to save money or to enjoy fresh, organic produce (actually, last year we lost money on our garden, and didn't get that much produce, but I'm still glad we did it). Our family gardens mainly for the pure joy of it. If you've ever had a garden then you know how miraculous it feels to see seeds you planted sprout and the thrill of eating food you planted and tended yourself.
 Because we're in it mainly for the experience, I'm always on the look-out for things we can grow that will be especially fun for kids. I've written about the multi-colored carrots we've grown. When the kids dig up the greens, they don't know until they get there whether it will be a yellow, purple, or orange carrot dangling from the other end. This year we're growing purple snap beans that turn green when you cook them.

 Today, I wanted to show you another fun thing we've got in our garden right now. For the past two years, we've had really good success growing chard. Unlike most things, it really flourishes in this dry, Texas heat, and the stuff is chock-full of vitamins. This year though, instead of regular green and white chard, we're growing Bright Lights, a kind of chard with multi-colored stems.

Rainbow Chard in the Kitchen

 Chard can be chopped up and included in salads for a really pretty touch (especially the smaller leaves; once they get large they tend to be a little more bitter).

 It's also delicious roasted with onions and feta cheese. When we prepare it this way, first, we chop the stems, toss them with olive oil and a chopped onion, and roast them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

 Then we add the chopped chard leaves; sprinkle them with feta cheese and return to the oven until the feta is a little melted. Really, really good.


Sue Walker said...

This looks so delicious and pretty!  

Having Fun in the Texas Sun said...

Love this! Definitely something we are going to have to try in our garden! Thanks!