April is a classic “hungry gap” month for most growers, where we are still waiting patiently for the first of the new season crops to come along and last year’s stores are looking painfully bare.
Thankfully we still have chard! I sowed rows of it last winter for the polytunnel, and the little seedlings burst in to life back in March. It’s in good nick for picking now.
I’ve always been a little daunted about what to do with chard, until I discovered proper instructions on how to cook them. Don’t forget that the stalks are really good – don’t discard them.
This quantity will serve 4.
extra virgin olive oil
handful freshly chopped herbs (e.g. rosemary, marjoram or tarragon)
Wash the chard carefully and then drain. Chop the stalks off the leaves and cut them in to to 5cm lengths. Roughly chop the leaves.
Cook the stalks in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, then add the leaves and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. The leaves will be wilted at this point.
Drain well and then toss with a little olive oil. Add the herbs, season and serve.
Michael Kelly is a freelance journalist, author and founder of GIY Ireland. We are trying to get 100,000 people to take a pledge to grow something they can eat – take the GIY pledge at www.facebook.com/giyireland.