I’m talking about growing, harvesting and cooking Spinach and Chard. It all starts around this time of year, sowing seeds in teeny pots to be planted out as young seedlings, watered in and forgotten about until autumn.
Throughout Autumn and Winter there are plentiful pickings of the green stuff. During the darkest days of winter the growth is at it’s slowest – who can blame the plants sitting out there in all weathers!
Come Spring, new shoots appear, and as the days lengthen and lighten the spurts of growth are visible. A refreshing sight to see new green shoots and the pickings start again.
Now we are reaching the end of May and the plants have done their best, they have supplied us well but are now at the end of their useful lives – starting to bolt and flower.
Time to chop them down, collect the good young leaves – collect a bagfull to take home, give them a good clean up so they are a sinkful or a colanderful, next up is chopping them and poping them into a pan with a dash of water, so they become a panful, a quick blanch/heat through and they are drained. Their final journey is to become scontainerful for the freezer as I don’t want a bellyful – well not all at once.
From here they will be added to dals, soups, and pies – a versatile flavour packed green.
And if like me you like a dip or two how about an unrecipe of Greek style yoghurt, chopped garlic, a pinch of salt and a small bowlfull of spinach and chard?