Backyard Garden Exploding With Chard[twitter]The greenery is exploding in the backyard garden box. Which is weird. I admitted at the beginning of the summer, I was a terrible gardener and now? Now, after a week away I came home to beets, lettuce, carrots, and chard ready to be harvested. Lots of chard.

And so comes the side effects of backyard gardening: an abundance of riches. I’ve been handing bags of chard over to friends who visit and trading with colleagues at work for other vegetables they have in plenty, but I still have bushels of chard in the yard.

Frankie Flowers is the one who recommended chard as an easy thing for a rookie gardener to plant and succeed with, and he’s right. I’ve got it almost waist high. And there’s a lot of it. So .. what do you do with swiss chard? How can you cook chard? What are some great chard recipes?

I discovered one a few years ago from The Chew. It’s a simple sausage and swiss chard pasta topping. Michael Symon serves with orecchiette, I serve it penne, rigatoni, or in the case of this week, farfalle.

First squeeze some sausage meat from its casing and fry it up.

frying sausage meat

Next, mix in a can of white kidney beans or cannellini beans

beans and sausage

Then shave in some lemon zest and lemon juice

adding lemon juice

Finally wilt in your chard

chard and beans and sausage

Then top it over your pasta with shavings of parmesan.

Sausage, Swiss Chard RECIPE from DadCAMP

It really is that simple, (here’s the actual recipe.)

It’s so good that I’ve made it 3 times this summer trying to work my way through the chard harvest. I needed more ideas.

chopped up chard

Friends said to treat chard like spinach, you can put it in vegetable soups, or just wilt it with bacon. Bacon. I have a favourite brussels sprouts and bacon recipe that I break out each Thanksgiving, so I just used that method this time around, with chard.

I fried up the bacon.


Chopped the chard and bacon. Then wilted the chard in some of the bacon fat and butter.

chard and bacon

Boom, perfect side for some ribs and grilled peaches.

Ribs With Wilted Chard and Bacon RECIPE from DadCAMP

Hit me with your ideas? How are you working your way through all that chard in your backyard? What are your best chard recipes?

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Scotts Gro Crew.

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