My introduction to eating chard stems was through my colleague Kristen Miglore’s Genius Recipe column on Food52. She shared chef and restauranteur Anna Klinger’s recipe for Grilled Swiss Chard Stems with Anchovy Vinaigrette, and I was besotted with the idea of a recipe centered around a produce part that you’re typically instructed to remove and discard. I loved the idea of eating chard stems cloaked in sauce but wanted to streamline the prep, opting to forgo Anna’s blanching and grilling in favor of just roasting and drizzling with an Asian-inspired dressing. Any leftover dressing can be stored separately in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Makes a side dish for 2 to 4

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted; plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Greek yogurt
  • Stems from 1 large bunch Swiss chard
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Crush the toasted sesame seeds with a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, mayonnaise, and yogurt and set aside.

Cut the chard stems into 5- to 6-inch lengths, place them on a baking sheet, and drizzle them with a little olive oil. Gently toss them together to get the stems evenly coated. Spread out into a single layer and lightly sprinkle with pepper.

Roast the stems until the centers are tender when pierced with a knife, the edges are starting to char, and any lingering leaf pieces crisp up like kale chips, 7 to 10 minutes.

Divide the roasted stems among plates, drizzle with the sesame dressing, and sprinkle with the remaining toasted sesame seeds, if using. Serve hot.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Cooking With Scraps” by Lindsay-Jean Hard. Published by Workman Publishing.