When my gardening adventure was in its infancy, my Nana advised me to grow chard. She went on and on about it, easy to grow, easy to cook, so good for you, etc... So I half-heartedly grew some rainbow chard last year. Chard was not sexy. Heirloom chard does not grow any differently than regular chard, it did not excite me in the way tomatoes and peppers did. I used it a few times but I did not tend to it and basically ignored it.
I had it all wrong. Throughout the winter, I bought quite a bit of chard. Nana was right - It cooks just like spinach! After washing it, remove the leaf from the stem. Then chop up the stem and sauté it olive oil. Chop up the leaf while the stem cooks. Once the stem has softened, toss in some garlic and the chopped up chard leaves. After it cooks down, eat it as is or on brushetta. It's divine with homemade marinara and pasta - i could go on and on - chard is amazing.
After i realized the deliciously wondrous world of chard, I made considerable space for it in the garden. I'm head over heels for this stuff. I ordered the golden chard from Fedco Seeds back in February, and it is still going strong. Earlier in the season it shared a container with my green bean plants, and now it's growing with some late blooming peppers.
Each evening I check in with the plants and give them a sip of water after a long day of growing beneath the scorching sun. I love how the just-watered chard almost smells like it's cooking...it stops me in my tracks and has me thinking about how I can cook with it this week.
Nana was right, and I'm fortunate to have listened to her garden tips and stories. Each growing season I grow the chard for my own family table, but mostly I grow it to see her golden hair every time I glance at the golden chard.