5 Delicious Ways to Use Chard and Kale Stems // Lifestyle

by Megan Crist

In my past life, I composted the ribs of leafy greens. Luckily I’ve come to my senses. But it was brought to my attention that most people probably do the exact same thing. And it’s no fault, really. I understand, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with the “leftover” parts. Or even to think there is something to be done with those parts, because recipes often say to discard them. Let’s change the narrative.

Kale and chard ribs have lots of delicious uses. One of my favorites is adding them to mirepoix. Food styling and food photography by Megan Crist.

5 Delectable and Easy Ways to Use the Ribs of Leafy Greens in Your Kitchen

  • Pickles. I’m trying to think of any pickled plant I don’t like… I might be a while. This is my go-to quick pickle brine.

  • Roasted. I never met a roasted (plant) rib I didn’t want to put on the side of… well, everything. Rub with EVOO, salt, and pepper. 400F for 15 minutes.

  • Mirepoix/Soffrito/Suppengrun. Instead of -or in addition to- celery, cook some diced stems with carrots and onions to create a base for your next sauce or soup. Low and slow is the name of the game.

  • Stir fry. A bit of sesame oil, soy sauce and some high heat transforms these stalks in a way that only stir fry can do. They’re a palatable addition to your favorite veggie mix.

  • Pesto. Blended up with lemon, garlic, and parmesan cheese (or cashews), basically anything is delicious. A chard stem version of pesto is especially tasty schmeared on a roasted red pepper sandwich.

So next time you find yourself about to chuck some scraps in the (compost) bin, consider one of these simple solutions to reducing waste.

If you love pickles, you’ll love these pickled (chard) ribs. Food photography food styling and prop styling by Megan Crist.