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Cathie Rowand/ the Journal Gazette
Swiss chard, with stems the color of the rainbow, is a beautiful addition to the garden.

Swiss chard much like spinach

Early this spring I planted some Swiss chard seeds in my vegetable garden. I have never eaten Swiss chard before but with stems the color of the rainbow, I thought it would look pretty in the garden.

The Swiss Chard is ready for harvest, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. So I asked my mother. She said she had never eaten it. With a bit of research, I found that it is not only easy to grow but has health promoting nutrients. There was also a comment that stated if you don't like Swiss chard it is because you didn't eat it when it was fresh. As in sweet corn, it should be cooked soon after it is picked. Raw young Swiss chard is great in salads.

I ended up stir frying the Swiss chard in olive oil and garlic. I added Indian seasoning minus the chili powder: cumin, cumin seeds, mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric. I cooked it just long enough so the the leaves absorbed the spice but not completely cooked. I started out with leaves that almost spilled out of the pan, but then it cooked down to what seemed be not enough to serve.

It was delicious and tasted a bit like spinach. This is probably why Swiss chard is also known as perpetual spinach and spinach beet.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer), Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer), Frank Noonan (copy editor) and Cathie Rowand (photographer)