Yes, I know the chard recipe is random. We’ll get to that. First things first!
The first group that did their detailed plans for the year was the Pizza Garden group. It worked out well, because Bed 6, where the Pizza Garden will be, is currently half planted to leeks and garlic. We won’t be short of garlic for our pizza sauce!
As you can see, the better part of the garden is taken up with the garlic that was planted last fall. We are going to harvest one row of leeks early and replace it with onions. (I know, poor rotational practices, I know.) Then we have picked out a roma and a cherry tomato, a bell and an Italian roasting pepper, and whatever herbs we can fit in. (Basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)
We are tentatively planning to use either ‘Mariana’ or ‘Plum Dandy’ for the roma variety and probably ‘Chocolate Cherry’ for the cherry tomato. The bell pepper will probably be ‘Big Bertha,’ because I think I still have extra seeds. ‘Planet’ is the variety we’ll be trying for the Italian Roasting peppers.
Then in the second half of the season we had to get a little creative. After we harvest the garlic, we need something semi-pizza-ish to plant. We are going to do a row of green onions (I know, poor rotation again), a couple of zucchini plants, and some greens. I know the zucchini and greens are maybe a bit of a stretch for some of you to put on pizzas, but they shouldn’t be! Hopefully we can showcase some pizzas this fall using those greens.
You might notice that we’ve got some different varieties of greens planned from what we usually plant. We are going with the ‘Lacinato’ kale rather than the ‘Redbor’ we’ve planted a lot in the last few years. ‘Lacinato’ is supposed to be more tender and flavorful. We are also planning to use ‘Fordhook’ Chard, which is completely white stems, instead of the multi-colored ‘Bright Lights.’
Speaking of Swiss Chard…I tried another recipe last night that was delicious! (See, I told you there was a connection!) I’ve got enough garden plans coming up that I don’t want to spend a whole post on it, but for those of you still looking for a delicious way to eat Swiss Chard, I give you:
Bacon, White Bean, and Swiss Chard Pot Pie!
The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen, (both from her new cookbook and the blog), and we followed her directions with the exception of the pancetta. We used bacon, because we had bacon. We also used some Swiss Chard from our community garden plot 2 years ago that was still kicking around in the freezer. I just realized that virtually every Swiss Chard recipe that I really like came from Smitten Kitchen. If you don’t like chard, you’ve clearly just been using the wrong recipe source! I also noticed that the recipe she posted today also features chard: Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic. Now I have a recipe to try for the last bag of chard in our freezer.
So anyway, if you are growing a pizza garden this year, don’t leave out the kale and chard!