We got another half an inch (13 mm) of rainfall yesterday afternoon. It rained hard for hours on end. And it's supposed to rain again today and tomorrow. This is a holiday weekend, but people trying to take advantage of it by engaging in outdoor activities are out of luck. It's even been rainy down on the usually sunny Mediterranean coast.
Swiss chard from the garden cooked with schmaltz and chicken broth
Right now, rain and the soaking wet ground are preventing us from planting the summertime vegetable garden, but I did throw some hardy collard and kale seeds in an empty plot a couple of weeks ago. They have come up and we might get a good crop by mid-summer. Meanwhile, I harvested our crop of spring chard yesterday morning, before the rain started.
I planted this chard (called blettes or bettes in French) last August. Looking back at blog posts from October and November 2012, I see that we picked and cooked a lot of chard in the autumn, but the plants stayed in the ground. Our fairly mild (albeit long and gray) winter weather kept the chard going. Over the past couple of months, it has grown tall and green. Because of mild conditions, the ribs of the leaves are fine and tender. (Rain can be a good thing, I have to admit.)
Rhubarb, collard, and chard plants in the garden last September for harvest in fall, winter, and spring
I also had a row of collard greens growing over the winter, right next to the chard. I harvested those a month ago and we enjoyed eating them. Some, cooked, went into the freezer. Yesterday I quickly cooked the chard leaves, ribs and all. I seasoned them with some rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) and chicken broth, along with a couple of bay leaves and a good amount of black pepper. They'll be part of today's lunch.