By Liesl Clark
Don’t throw those swiss chard stalks out! We’ve discovered a delicious thing or 3 to do with them.
I’m ashamed to say our swiss chard has been languishing in the garden because our family just hadn’t taken to these easy-to-grow greens, until now…
First, separate your chard leaves from the stalks and cut your stalks into 4″ long pieces. Save them in a bowl. Aren’t they pretty?
Spicy Swiss Chard Chips:
We all know what kale chips are. Well, try making chips with your swiss chard, too. They’re a delicious and nutritious substitute for potato chips. By adding a little garlic powder, salt, and some chili powder, you won’t be able to eat just one.
Turn your oven to 275 degrees. Place your chard pieces on a baking sheet or glass baking pan. Add a tablespoon of olive oil per baking pan and toss the chard leaves with equal amounts of sea salt and garlic powder and chili powder. That’s it! Add your spice to taste and be sure to not make it too salty.
Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the leaves over and bake another 10 minutes if needed. Your bake time depends on your baking dish.
Chard Stalk Pickles:
Now take your stalks and if you have a bottle of Claussen pickle juice waiting for something delicious to throw in, just stuff a few of your raw stalks in the bottle and within a few hours you’ll have delicious chard stalk pickles. My kids love them.
I found another recipe for delicious pickled swish chard stalks at Cookistry. For their recipe and nice pictures, be sure to visit them here. But if you want to read my entertaining version with home-grown photography, here we go:
Blanch your stalks in boiling salted water for about 3-4 minutes. You want them to stay crunchy so be sure to not overcook them. Drain the stalks and try a few at this stage. Aren’t they delicious? We loved the slightly salted cooked stalks so much we saved a few and had them as a side dish with dinner.
Find a mason jar or 2 and put your stalks in them.
Then, bring the following ingredients to a boil and make sure everything is completely dissolved:
2 cups water
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Pour your water into your mason jars with chard stalks in them and screw the tops on. Put them in the refrigerator when they’ve cooled and you can enjoy these pickles for a few weeks.
Do you have a favorite chard stalk recipe? I was so excited to find a way to save them from the compost bin or chicken yard I’d love to learn of other chard stalk rescue recipes.
Looking for more interesting things you can do with parts of your produce you’d typically throw away? Check out our Trash Backwards app!