Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Late yesterday morning, after working around outside for a couple hours while subconsciously planning my lunch, I went into the garden to harvest some of my private winter hoard of rainbow chard for use in one of my favorite recipes.

The morning was clear and the sun at just the right height, so that when I knelt before the rows and lifted the net, there before my eyes stood a rainbow of leaves rising from the dark earth in bright array, each one still glistening with late winter/early spring dew; I had to pause and admire the unassuming complexity of this plant's beauty, how from the same root it sends up those rainbows-- imperial jade leaves veined with gold, red leaves veined with purple, gold leaves veined with red, purple leaves veined with jade, gold or bright red, some pink in there too, eyefuls of brightness all standing there at full attention to the sun and air, soil and rain that fashioned them.

It was headshaking, the deep fact of it - and the staunch leaves themselves, clustered on their stalks, rising into separate airs, all billowing and curling, rippling with delicious aspects - there were so many (each of beauty, and on such a small bit of row: 1M X 2M!) that I could pick and choose the finest young leaves, I only needed a double handul, cutting the stems cleanly with my knife.

Even more would grow back, quicker than I could want; chard is generous in other ways as well, giving all the Vitamins K and A a body needs in a day, plus generous amounts of C and E, magnesium, calcium, dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, iron, a whole treasury of the gold, silver and diamonds that are good health. I do get carried away when talking about this beautiful vegetable, imperial member of the slow food family.

Then I carried the crunchy bunch of living light into the house to use in making my noon repast, topped in this case with some finely grated gouda cheese. This version of the recipe doesn't say when, but I added the chard after the mushrooms...


Dalene said...

oh the chard leaves are beautiful. and beautiful food is always so good for the soul as it is for the body, appealing to multiple senses as it does. i am glad i read this now as i am getting ready to order seeds. i am going to add rainbow chard to this year's seed list. thanks for the inspiration of delightful discovery robert!

Marianne said...

Hey Bob, I recently suggested your blog to my daughter, I thought she would love your writing style. And then I thought, "why not recommend hers to you?!?" You might enjoy it also. Her link:

Best, Marianne

Bob Brady said...

Good rainbow dining, Dalene! I couldn't agree more; just ordered my chard seeds too. Nothing inspires like a garden!

Marianne, thanks for the link; great site and WOW fotos! I'll make it a live link here for folks who see this later...
Brooke - confessions of an urban earth mama