Category Archives: The best part of growing it is eating it

Preserving Swiss Chard

Source: – By , Guide

One of my favorite leafy greens is Swiss chard. I love the flavor — spinach-like, but a little sweeter. I love the way it looks in the garden. I grow ‘Five Color Silverbeet’ and the orange, swiss chardmagenta, yellow, and white stalks look amazing in the garden. I also love how easy it is to grow. The plants that I sowed from seed way back in early May are still going strong. If you just keep harvesting the outer stalks, and not the entire plant, new stalks will keep forming at the center of the plant. It doesn’t bolt in summer’s heat — a bonus for those who love leafy greens. It also withstands frost fairly well, which means that I’m often harvesting chard well into November.

But we’ve got a ton of it growing out in the garden now, and at this point it’s growing faster than we can eat it. Here is my favorite way to preserve Swiss chard:

  • Wash the chard well.
  • Separate the stalks from the leaves. I do this mainly because it makes it more convenient when you’re cooking the chard later, since the stalks take longer to cook than the leaves (and, sometimes you only want to use one or the other in a recipe, not both.)
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, and fill a bowl with ice water.
  • Blanch Swiss chard stalks for two minutes, leaves for one minute. Place them in the ice water immediately after blanching to stop the cooking process.
  • Drain well, and place the stalks and leaves in separate freezer bags or other freezer-safe containers.
  • Freeze for up to six months.

This is an easy way to make sure I am able to use all of the delicious Swiss chard growing in my garden.

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Ricotta stuffed squash blossoms with capers & sun-dried tomatoes

Source: –  by fran on June 25, 2012

Ricotta stuffed squash blossoms with capers & sun-dried tomatoes
Prep Time: 30 Cook Time: 5-8 Difficulty: Easy

Edible flowers bursting with flavor & colors!

Bursting with vibrant colors these beautiful edible flowers have serious culinary powers! Squash blossoms are the sweet and tender flowers of growing summer squash.

These gorgeous blossoms can be stuffed and fried, or added to quesadillas, soups and risottos. Their flavor is delicate with a hint of the zucchini they would have become if left on the vine. You can find them at the farmers’ markets from late spring to early fall. They bring a beautiful orange and yellow burst of color to any dish. Enjoy!


The Goods:

  • 1/2 Ib fresh squash blossoms (approx 25-30 flowers)
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese (I used RBGH-free ricotta)
  • 1/2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • extra virgin olive oil
 The Magic:

STEP 1: Remove the pistil from all squash blossoms (the inner yellow stem located inside the flower) and the long green stem located at the base of the flower.

STEP 2: Run the blossoms under cold water to remove any dirt or bugs, and set aside on a paper towel.

STEP 3: In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and capers.

STEP 4: Scoop a spoonful of the cheese mixture into the center of each flower and secure with the flower petals as much as possible.

STEP 5: Transfer prepped blossoms into warm skillet with extra virgin olive oil & lightly cook for a few minutes on each side. Cook until thoroughly heated or until lightly browned.

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The best part of growing it is eating it: Zucchini Cheese Boats

 Zucchini Cheese Boats
Makes: 6  servings

Prep: 20 mins
Bake: 30 mins 375°F
Cook: 10 mins

  • 6 large zucchini (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon (about 1/4 pound), chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup packaged unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Make It

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cut 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slice from each zucchini. Chop the slices and reserve.

3. Using a melon baller or small spoon and starting from cut side, scoop out most of flesh from each zucchini, leaving a shell. Chop together the flesh and add the reserved chopped slices. Reserve the zucchini boats.

4. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon; cook 3 minutes. Stir in chopped zucchini mixture, onion salt, garlic powder, nutmeg and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs and 3/4 cup of cheese.

5. Spoon about 1/2 cup filling into each zucchini boat. Place in prepared baking dish. Add 1/4 cup hot water to dish; cover dish with foil.

6. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle tops of zucchini with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings.

nutrition facts
  • Servings Per Recipe 6
  • Calories(kcal)230
  • Protein(gm)10
  • Carbohydrate(gm)10
  • Fat, total(gm)17
  • Cholesterol(mg)30
  • Saturated fat(gm)7
  • Dietary Fiber, total(gm)1
  • Sodium(mg)217
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


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