Pickled Chard Stems

pickled chard stems / loveandlemons.com pickled chard stems / loveandlemons.com

Eat the rainbow, (and no I’m not talking about Skittles). I just love chard and I love it’s crunchy colorful stems. Although, very often, I end up with a lot of extra stem pieces. They’re way too pretty to toss so I’ve started pickling them. Don’t worry, this isn’t a Sunday afternoon project, these are super quick refrigerator pickles. (i.e. the kind I have patience for).

pickled chard stems / loveandlemons.com

You could slice yours into long spears, but I chop mine up (they pickle quicker that way), and them I eat them Japanese Tsukemono style – as a simple condiment with rice (or any grain), and a few vegetables.

They’re tangy and a little bit sweet – a bright little pop of color and flavor!

pickled chard stems / loveandlemons.com

pickled chard stems

Serves: 1 cup
  • about 1 cup chopped chard stems (any color)
  • salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • optional - ½ a sliced shallot
  • optional - a few pink peppercorns
  1. Chop your chard stems and sprinkle them with salt. Set aside.
  2. Toast the brown mustard seeds in a small saucepan for a minute or so (don't let them burn). Add the vinegars and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and let the brine cool.
  3. Place the chopped stems and sliced shallot in a jar, cover them with the brine and refrigerate overnight before eating them.
  4. I like to top mine on salads or in rice (or quinoa) bowls.

adapted from bonappetit.com


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Jody

    There’s no quantity given for salt, which is a fairly important component of a pickle recipe

  2. Nancy

    Can you use this brine to pickle other vegetables?

  3. Reanna

    My husband and I were both blown away by this recipe. Beyond just pleasantly surprised, it became a household staple. we put this on sandwiches, salads, tacos, on naan with Indian food, the list guess on. All the earthiness gone and a sweet, slightly tart, bright citrus flavor that paired with just about anything. I wish I’d come across this recipe sooner. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you both loved them!

  4. Phat Khat

    Looks so pretty! Going to try this right away! As to the chard stems for other purposes, I use them as a celery replacement, since I’m not fond of celery. Just chop them up in tuna salad, potato salad, etc!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.