I'm afraid many chard stems get tossed when just the leaves are called for. Chard stems have a wonderful sweetness to them and very little of the earthy bite of the leaves. They are delicious roasted up with a bit of cheese on top, as in this gratin. (If you have a bunch or two of chard and aren't sure how to proceed, check out How to Stem Swiss Chard.)
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
- Stems from 1 to 2 bunches of chard
- About 1 tsp. olive oil
- About 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or hard, flavorful cheese of your choice.
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh lemon juice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Rinse chard stems, pat dry, and trim off any brown bits.
- Use the oil to coat the bottom of a gratin dish or other baking dish that will hold the stems in more or less a single layer. Lay stems in the dish, sprinkle evenly with the cheese and black pepper to taste. Cover dish with foil.
- Put in the oven and bake 10 minutes, remove the foil and bake until chard stems are tender and the cheese is melted and starting to brown, about 20 more minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with a spritz of lemon juice, if you like.