Of all the things we grew last year, other than herbs, the swiss chard was the most abundant. I’m pretty sure we ate it at least every other day all last summer and fall. As much as I hate to waste food, especially food I grow, I just couldn’t eat it any more. I let it grow, figuring it would die off when winter came. Well, winter never came and it kept growing. What to do?
Here’s what I did. I cut all the chard and discarded the really hard stems (I’ve already pickled some). Blanch them for 3 minutes and then shock in ice water. Pat dry, place them on a silicon mat and dry them in a 150 oven for about 3 hours, moving around as necessary.
Then the dried chard was pulverized. I’ve used it as a finishing seasoning to add a bit of bitterness to a dish. I also mixed it with some sea salt to make a great finishing salt. Incidentally, the chard salt has a similar taste to nori. What else to do with it. Dried chard oil? Now, with the mild winter, I have lots of new growth. I’ll be looking for lots of ideas on how to use excessive amounts of chard.
Here is a picture collage. Unfortunately, it was taken with my phone’s camera and run through an Instagram filter. If anyone has suggestions for the powder or salt, I’d love to hear them. Enjoy.