15 April 2015

The first barbecue of 2015

We're trying to take full advantage of this mini-summer we're living through right now. Temperatures are supposed to fall back to the normal range — high 'teens C, mid-60s F — for the weekend. And beyond.

One way we took advantage of the fine weather yesterday was to fire up the gas grill and sizzle some sausages. We had spicy lamb-and-beef merguez sausages in the freezer, and I bought a pork sausage called a saucisse bretonne at the supermarket. It came from a company located in the village of Tinténiac in Brittany.

Fresh tender Swiss chard leaves — feuilles de blettes — from plants that spent the winter in the back yard garden

With the sausages we had some Swiss chard leaves that I picked out in the back corner garden plot earlier in the morning. We planted chard out there last summer, and it has overwintered just fine. Most of the plants are the regular green-leaf white-rib variety, but one is a yellow-ribbed chard.

The leaves were spring-tender new growth. I cooked them in olive oil with sliced onions and garlic, along with some hot crushed red pepper and a little splash of white wine. Sausages and chard from the garden were a nice way to start off the summer grilling season.


  1. Strange what 60odd miles does to growth patterns...
    our overwintered chard is only just getting going...
    but we ate our first rhubarb of the season yesterday.

    If you liked that yellow-ribbed chard, Ken, we can thoroughly recommend "Rainbow" chard...
    the ribs are slightly narrower than the blete in the shops...
    but that is more than compensated for by the look of the different coloured ribs on a plate.
    We tend to de-rib partway into the green leaf to maximise the stalk we can cook separately.
    So, from one pick we get "two" veg on the plate!

    Nice looking 'real' sossij from oop't'North.... not one of our local chipolatas, that one!!

  2. Part-time neighbors of ours who live most of the time in Yorkshire told me a few days ago that they have already harvested rhubarb up in those northern climes. We would probably be harvesting except that Walt dug up, divided, and replanted our rhubarb this spring.

    We tried growing that rainbow chard one year but it didn't do well for whatever reason. The green and white kind grows best and we really enjoy it.

    It seems that the saucisse bretonne is a standard item, but I'd never heard of it before. Out in Brittany, they eat it like a hot dog but wrapped in a buckwheat crêpe rather than a soft doughy bun.

    1. My favorite unsmoked sausage is still Toulouse.

    2. Now I know what a Toulouse sossij should really taste like....
      thanks to your posts...
      so's mine!! It is the closest to English sossijiz...
      Like the pancake wrapper idea....

  3. We may just share BBQ weather Ken as Autumn hits us but with temps in the low 20s. Enjoy your summer as winter decends on Bayside Melbourne.

  4. Looks delicious. You are ahead of us in your seasons...........But not too much.

  5. Mes blettes ont gelé cet hiver. Il faut que j'en replante cette année.

  6. We love reading your Blog as always Ken. Glad you are putting the Crushed Red Pepper to good use!!


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