Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Meet my mortal enemy.

My my, is it nearly November? Wow. That's incredible.


Our farm share, at least the standard version, is coming to an end in few weeks. Which means that, hey!, we might be able to get the crisper and countertop fruit bowl and bread basket and, let's be honest, composter, under control because there won't be a weekly influx of new stuff to shoehorn into our house.

Well, we might have been able to, had we not just gone ahead and signed up for the winter farm share.

Because we like to torture ourselves. And because the thought of going into a grocery store for produce makes me want to cut myself.

Thankfully, the winter farm share is less hectic and needy than the standard share. It doesn't come every. single. week. and there's sturdy stuff in there like root vegetables and winter squashes (butternut hellOOO!) that can withstand some time sitting on the counter getting the evil eye from yours truly.

Oh yeah, and there's also chard.

Chard, the fucking wonder vegetable that does not die or go away no matter the frost or the cold or the LOATHING that comes by the hand that grows it.

No, it lives on.

Look at me. I'm so alive right now.

And it multiplies when you dare to prune and eat some of it. And then it also comes in the winter farm share because these people know that they can only lessen their interaction with the thing, but never free themselves completely, so they continue to share it with us members even though I'm sure everyone hates it by now. Definitely so if those sharers also were so stupid to plant it in their home gardens because their mommies didn't tell them that CHARD NEVER DIES.


To say that it has taken on Bermuda grass characteristics would be appropriate since we have resorted to throwing our hands in the air and saying, "The only way to get rid of chard is to move" like all the Lowe's people say when you ask them about how to get Bermuda grass the hell out of your life/yard.

Only you can't eat Bermuda grass. Well, and you can get rid of chard by ripping it from the vegetable beds. Whatever, it's still scary.

The farm share came last week, and since our lovely neighbors picked it up and divvied it up between the households, I ended up with some chard. And some kale. And some other kale that's equally ugly and awful. And then I began to slowly panic because the bottom crisper was overflowing with green leafy things that I knew we couldn't put down in one week.

And then the blessed fabulous neighbors sent me a recipe for chard before I had a chance to throw myself from the roof.

Close call!

And because I love you very much and don't want you to suffocate under your own pile of chard in the event that you still have a SHIT TON of it, too, I will share this recipe with you now.

This isn't the best picture, but it was good enough for lunch leftovers, says Bubba.
Big talk.

Finny's Chard Killer Lasagna
Adapted from Lasagna with Chard, tomato sauce and ricotta, NYTimes.com, 10/9/08
My changes in bold

1 recipe of The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep.
1 generous bunch of Swiss chard (1 1/2 lbs)
6 unfrilly no-boil lasagna noodles (Note: frilly noodles are grody. I use Barilla noodles because they are not grody OR frilly. Score.)
Extra virgins
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta cheese (remember the scary fatness!)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan

To make
Preheat the oven to 425

First, start your Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep. and don't even try swapping with some other useless store-bought sauce because I WILL KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE. Also, it won't be as good. Trust me.

While the tomatoes for your sauce are roasting up in the oven (see, I'm making you do it) boil some seasalty water and, after cutting those big stalks off your chard and rinsing the leaves in cold water, dunk your full chard leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute. Then take those leaves intact (I find my Oxo tongs do the best job here) and dunk them in icy water.

Some fancy people refer to this process as blanching, but I'm not fancy, so let's just call it dunking, k?

Then you'll want to squeeze out all this water. But how do you do it without making an unholy mess? You stack those leaves into a neat pile, place them on one end of an unrolled tea towel and you roll them up while squeezing.

Then you unroll the towel and take your moist (GROSS WORD) little chard cigar over to the cutting board for ribboning. The grody towel can then go into the wash or your kitchen laundry hamper if you have it (we do because I'm A/R like that).

Now you can ribbon slice the shit out of that weirdly small chard cigar. See how technical this all is? Fun times. Oh, this is also a good time to admire how small chard gets when it's blanched/dunked and remind thyself that chard doesn't have to be scary like when it's in the garden giving you the finger.

Once you're done making The Best Sauce Ever. Yep., pour the sauce into a good sized bowl and, with your fabulous tongs to which you often whisper sweet nothings, toss your sauce with all that ribbony chard.


See, stupid other sauce won't cut it here. It has to be The Best. Lest you forget.

Then you just put the whole mess together as such:
Coat the bottom of an 8x8 pan with a bit of the sauce mixture
Then one layer of un boiled lasagna noodles
Then ricotta
Then sauce mixture
Then some shredded parm
Repeat once more and finish with noodle, ricotta, sauce, parm
Sprinkle some salt, oregano, basil - whatever on top if you have it.

Wrap the whole deal with foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until it cools below MOLTEN LAVA temps. Cut and serve with a big ass salad.

Bye bye chard!
This cutting board is no match for me.


  1. I haven't entered the produce department at the grocery store in months. It will be a sad day when I am forced to do so once again. But not yet! I still have green things in the garden. For a limited time . . .

  2. "Look at me. I'm so alive right now."

    So funny.

  3. Well, it is almost Halloween....perhaps you can hoard all the Snickers for yourself and give chard to the trick-or-treaters. Kids love chard!

  4. LOL I love the line "Chard, the fucking wonder vegetable..." NICE!!! That recipe looks really good - PLUS it's nice and small (being in an 8x8 pan) so you're not SICK of it when you have to stare at all the leftovers in the fridge. (Yes, I have a bad habit of making HUUUUUGE feeds-an-army portions of stuff for just two).

    Also love your use of the word "moist". MOIST MOIST MOIST!

    BTW - after you informed us that chard will come back in the spring, I keep alternating back and forth between fear and happiness whenever I look at my chard in the garden. I wonder if it'll survive an Ohio winter? It's already started looking a little gross the days after it's thawed from a frost.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.