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chard stems: what's your favorite thing to do with them?

Budino Apr 25, 2010 07:08 PM

I love chard, and it makes me crazy that most recipes tell you to either discard them or "save them for another use" (and then no advice as to what that use might be).
I've seen a few recipes for gratins...but you need a lot of stems to make that worthwhile, no?
Lately I chop them up and add them with onions/garlic at the start of a recipe that uses the leaves but am wondering if anyone out there always uses both? Favorite recipes that utilize both, maybe, like the slow cooked chard recipe in "vegetables every day" by Jack Bishop?
Thanks in advance!

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    odkaty RE: Budino Apr 25, 2010 07:11 PM

    I use them in the recipe. Just start cooking the stem a few minutes earlier than the leaf.

    1 Reply
    1. re: odkaty
      Harters RE: odkaty Apr 26, 2010 08:30 AM

      Me too. All of my recipes for chard use both leaf and stem. That said, it's rare for me to come across chard - not something that's ever at the supermarket or greengrocers.

    2. Cherylptw RE: Budino Apr 26, 2010 09:11 AM

      I don't really care for chard but last spring, I planted rainbow chard instead of flowers in front of my house. Very pretty & hardy. In mid summer, I pulled them up and gave them to my son, who likes chard. That said, he shreds the stems & uses them with the leaves.

      Harters, I read that you had a garden, I'd be happy to send you some chard seeds.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw
        greygarious RE: Cherylptw Apr 26, 2010 09:48 AM

        I've always heard of the multicolored chard called "Bright Lights". Maybe there are other multicolor varieties. Chard stems in general are delicious, chopped and cooked a bit before adding the leaves. They are more tender than collard, beet, or kale stems, and in the case of bright lights, way too pretty to leave out of the dish!

        1. re: greygarious
          Mariana in Baja RE: greygarious Apr 26, 2010 11:53 AM

          I have a friend who grows chard - shares with his friend - and he uses the stems like celery - for dipping in humus and other dips, If you don't like chard you should ask someone to cook it for you - you might change your mind. Simply sauted in OO with a little onion and maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime - heaven!!

          1. re: Mariana in Baja
            greygarious RE: Mariana in Baja Apr 26, 2010 01:26 PM

            I think you meant to respond to the OP, not me. But I like the idea of using the colorful stems as part of a crudite platter, or even chopped up in a tossed salad, for color. Never thought of eating them raw, but they are tender enough.

      2. BamiaWruz RE: Budino Apr 28, 2010 03:12 AM

        Line the bottom of a pot with them, then add rice stuffed grape leaves, the sour liquid that has lemon juice and pomegranate syrup with flavour the chard nicely and complement it. Good with the red chard or white stemmed. Also the chard leaves can be rolled with rice too.

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