I have the good fortune of having my in-town garden full of chard following a season of heartbreaking local crop failures due to an exceptionally wet summer, a hurricane and flood, and a freak October snowfall. Yikes.
I love being able to step out into my garden, which has followed organic principles for years, and harvest a bouquet of green chard for dinner. I think it’s as picturesque as a bunch of flowers. The chard in my garden is tall so I have abundance of stems. They have the consistency of young celery stalks and are mild in flavor, but what to do with them? Sometimes I shallow boil them and serve them with the chard leaves. Here, I cut them into small sticks, combined them with similarly cut potatoes and added enough homemade chicken (or turkey) stock to about ¾ full. They were braised in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes were cooked through. I added a few chard leaves to the top to wilt down. Chard leaves, torn or cut into ribbons, have been replacing parsley as my go-to garnish. I even served them for Thanksgiving over the top of oven-roasted root vegetables. If you wanted to add a few slivers of smoky ham to the potato and chard stem braise, you could make a whole meal of this.