Monday, May 11, 2009

The trouble with Swiss Chard

How I like to store fresh chard- In a jar with water to keep it fresh
Everyone knows that swiss chard is a great thing. Easy to grow, tasty, easy to cook with.
But it has one problem- the stem. Personally I like the stems in cooked chard- so no problem. But lately I have been dehydrating my chard (thanks to Chile) so a problem came up what to do with the stems?

When dehydrating chard, following Chile’s directions I cut the green off from the stem- what to do with the stems? I steamed them with a little fresh parsley and some of the chard greens. Add a dab of fake butter and presto instant side dish! I also like the stems in place of celery for a snack!
Steamed Chard Stems
About 1 cup of Swiss Chard Stems, chopped into 1” pieces
Butter or Butter substitute like Earth Balance (note: I have recently discovered this butter substitute- it is vegan friendly and tastes great)

Simply cut the stems into 1” pieces, put into steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Put a pat of butter spread on them.

Other Uses for leftover Swiss chard stems: I like to use them like celery stalks. I simply dip them raw into ranch dressing (Abbie has a great Ranch Dressing recipe)

I also like to chop chard stems, saute them in a little olive oil and use them in omlettes, or mixed with rice

Chop and use raw in salads in place of celery.

Freeze the chard stems:
simply blanch the chopped chard stems and freeze as you would any other vegetable and use in soups or dishes or steam and eat as is.


Chile said...

I like the stems, too. They are a nice addition to soups as well as a dish by themselves. Unfortunately, my sweetie isn't crazy about them so I have to use them in moderation. Or cook them for my lunch.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I've never eaten chard, but I want to try it. Thanks for the tips, maybe next time I stare at it in the store I'll work of the nerve to buy some.

Rosa said...

What do y'all do with the dried chard? I use a lot of dried kale, but chard seems sweeter & more tender.

DP Nguyen said...

I had no idea you could even dehydrate swiss chard. I've never had it, so I wouldn't know how to eat it! But it is an interesting idea... I guess you'd crumble them into soups as a garnish?

Robj98168 said...

Chile- the stems are great!
Abbie- Hitch up yer hoop skirt and get on the Chard Wagon!
Rosa- I like to eat them like chips
DP- YOu can use them in soupas and sauces or just eat them, If you re-hydrate them you can eat like spinach

Rosa said...

just...plain? Salted? are they crumbly or crunchy (or both?) I totally want to try this, now.

I dry kale & use it in soups & quiches and I spent some time trying to make something nori-like (but failed).

We planted more borage seeds today, because the first ones died of frost, and I thought about your cheater borage pictures.

Robj98168 said...

Rosa I do both kinds. For general use I dont salt except for some salt in the blanching water, for snacks I liberally salt them when I put them on the dehydrator

Zuni said...

Chard stems are wonderful in stir fries!

Zuni said...

Swiss chard stems are wonderful in stir fries!