Colorful Swiss Chard

"Is this rhubarb?" I awkwardly asked the vendor at the Farmers' Market in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee,  thinking of baking a sweet, tangy pie.  Dean Yoder patiently explained that it was the "bright lights" variety of Swiss chard that had caught my eye.  The stalks ranged from yellow to pink to orange.  I decided I needed it, even though I didn't have a clue how to cook it.  

This family farmer and businessman had some guidance for me.  I just needed to use some olive oil and garlic in what sounded close enough to a little stir-fry number that I decided I could try it.  It's fun to cook food that's so fresh none of it goes to waste, especially the top leaves of a green like this.  I understand that some people cut out the toughest center part of the chard stalk, but I used that, too.  At home, the husband and kids thought I added too much sea salt in my effort to give it more punch.  I'm going to try Swiss chard again soon, only next time I'll tell the family it's rhubarb. 

The Yoder family maintains natural, organic growing methods at their Abundant Acres farm in McMinn County, Tennessee.  On a business brochure they explain their philosophy, "We believe that it is our responsibility to be stewards and caretakers of the land that God has given to us."

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