I love these! My little joke is that I get chard only for the stems–I compost the leaves…

I imagine other stems of greens–kale, collard stems, mustard greens–could also be pickled or marinated in this style. The cooking times would be different–collard stems taking longer than mustard green stems, for example. Think I’ll try them sometime…

2 c chard stems
2 c broth or water, or a combination
1 bay leaf
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 c cider or other vinegar
1/2 t sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 – 1 t dried thyme, basil, oregano…or a combination of dried herbs, optional
pinch of cayenne or chili powder, optional

1. Cut stems into pieces, smallish or larger, your call. I think the stems look more elegant when they’re longer, for serving, but they’re easier to eat in smaller pieces. Put in a saucepan with the broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until tender, about 10 minutes. Don’t let them get too soft.

2. Drain and put stems and bay leaf in a shallow glass or ceramic container, preferably one with a lid. Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, dried herb(s) if using and/or cayenne, if using. Pour over stems. Gently toss, making sure all the stems are coated with the vinegar mixture.

3. Cover and refrigerate. Allow to “pickle” for at least 8 hours before serving. They do taste better if left for a few days, and even longer.