Is Swiss Chard a Green Vegetable – CSA Boxes 4 and 5

May 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

photo (18)

That’s Week 4 of our Tomato Mountain CSA*

photo (17)

Attempt at artistry aside, notice much difference in Week 5?

Last weekend I saw Robin Schirmer of Tomato Mountain Farm. I told her how great the vegetables have been all Spring, but seasonal as I am, I was getting a bit shy of seeing more green in the box.

“Swiss chard”

Swiss chard? According to Robin, the spread of green had been interrupted by Swiss chard in our boxes for weeks four and five. Now, did Tomato Mountain really give me something not green?

Actually, they have. In the form of white Chinese cabbage that my wife cooked up to great success with bacon and canned beans–recipe and pictures hopefully for a future post. There have been white Japanese turnips and white, with a wisp of red, Japanese long radishes. It was my desire to capture some of the non-green as well as my desire to be my most Tamar Adler-thrifty, that I decided to do something.

photo (14)

All those greens with the radishes seemed too good to waste, even if they were green.

As they say in Portland. Pickle it.

photo (15)

That’s my batch brewing.  It’s supposed to be ready in 3 days.  I essentially used the recipe for Middle-Eastern style pickles from Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby’s Quick Pickles.  My pickles in process stem from chard stems, radish leaves and a few hidden away salad onions from last summer.   As with most pickles, it’s not so much a recipe but a ratio to create enough brine to cover the vegetables you have.

3 Cups – Red wine vinegar

3 Cups – Water

1 and 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 long dried local red pepper, crumbled

Combine the water and vinegar, dissolve the salt, and add the pepper.  Pour over the vegetables in a non-reactive bowl.  Let sit in a cool place for three days; then put in a jar and refrigerate.  They say it should last around a month.  I have a feeling we’ll have eaten them by then.

*My wife works for Tomato Mountain.  She’ll be selling stuff at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market this Saturday.  Come and buy!