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Consider This: Pickled Chard Stems

Julia Bainbridge

You’ve learned to save the leaves from radish bunches and toss them into salads. Grapefruit rind? You candy it. You know that you can save overripe bananas by transforming them into sweet, nutty bread. So don’t throw away your Swiss chard stems, either. 

The leaves are great in soups and stir-frys, but the stems? They don’t belong in the trash. They belong in sandwiches and dotted along the top of summer hot dogs. Chop them and pickle them—it only takes ten minutes—and they transform into a relish or a tangy way to cut through hearty barbecue.

Now you have another way to avoid food waste, and delectably so. Knowledge is power! 

Pickled Chard Stems
by Angela Gaines
Makes about 2 cups

2 large bunches chard, leaves removed, sliced diagonally 1/4” thick
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/8 tsp. red chili flakes

Combine vinegars, water, sugar, salt and spices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.

Stack chard stems into mason jars and cover with the liquid and spices, leaving 1/2 inch of room at the top.

Once cool, seal the jars. Store pickles in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.