A tasty Italian chard: Bieta Verde da Taglio

A few folks have written to ask what we’re growing in our winter vegetable garden and we’ve been late to reply. Since we’re in USDA zone 10 and seldom get freezing weather here in Los Angeles, we can grow year round. One of my favorites this winter has been a Swiss chard variety from Italy called Bieta Verde da Taglio or “Green cutting chard”.

Verde da Taglio has thin stems and thick leaves. It ain’t as pretty as the rainbow colored chards we are also growing, but it tastes better, in my opinion. Steam it, fry it up with some garlic and olive oil and you’re set.

Verde da Taglio is sold by the Franchi company, which I have a brand allegiance to as fanatical as the worst Apple computer partisan. Is Franchi the new Apple? I predict we’ll see folks tossing their iPhones for packs of rapini way before that Mayan calendar thingy comes to pass.

We got our Bieta Verde da Taglio seeds from growitalian.com a couple of years ago and they are still viable. But, thanks to Craig Ruggless, our local Franchi seed representative, you can now find these seeds in some nurseries and stores here in California. You can also order from Ruggless via the catalog on his Franchi Seeds USA Facebook page.

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  1. You know- I haven’t been able to face chard since I was a kid and got charded to death one year because that was all that was really growing that summer. My mom was happy, because with eight kids to feed, being able to cut enough chard every day for dinner was a real boon to her household budget. It made a chard-hater out of me. But I’ve recently (in the last year or so) become a big fan of kale, having never had it before. I learned to cook it in bacon, pepper flakes and garlic and serve it with angel hair pasta under a blanket of fresh parmesan. It is one of my favorite dishes now. I think I will try your variety of chard and see if I can learn to like it. I know from experience that you can really get your money’s worth out of the seed price.

  2. For your readers in the UK Franchi seeds are available from Paolo at seedsofitaly.com. A really friendly bunch and his Italian cook book is great too.

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