Baked Chard Stems (Coste di Bietola al Forno)

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Using chard for the filling of the ravioli alla genovese meant I had leftover chard stems. I thought what a home cook from Genoa would do with leftover chard stems, and that is how I came up with this contorno (side dish) of baked chard stems. To add some flavor and texture, I topped the chard stems with breadcrumbs flavored by anchovies, garlic, and marjoram. This is a very tasty way to prepare chard stems, that is lighter than a gratin with cheese. I served these as a side dish for the secondo piatto of veal from the sugo di carne alla genovese.

Ingredients

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The photo has parsley instead of marjoram and no anchovies, that’s what happens if you make up dishes as you go…

For 2 to 4 servings as a side dish

500 grams (1.1 lbs) chard stems

70 grams (1/2 cup) dry breadcrumbs

60 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp minced fresh marjoram

1 Tbsp minced anchovy fillets

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

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Wash the chard stems and trim the ends. Cut them in half lengthwise and then in 5 cm (2″) pieces, or whatever shape you like.

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Parboil the chard stems in salted water for 10 minutes, then plunge in cold water to stop the cooking, or vacuum seal them…

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…and cook sous-vide for 45 minutes at 84C/183F. Cooking them sous-vide ensures they hold their flavor and shape better.

In any case, the chard stems should be tender but still firm to the bite.

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Pat the chard stems dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

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In a bowl, combine 70 grams of breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon minced anchovy, 2 tablespoons minced marjoram, 1 minced garlic clove, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

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Stir to mix, then add 60 ml of extra virgin olive oil…

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…and mix again until the mixture looks homogeneous.

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Arrange the chard stems on a baking sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper) in a single layer, and spread out the breadcrumb mixture on top.

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Bake at 200C/400F until the breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Serve at once.

Flashback

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These clam cakes or clam fritters are crispy and golden brown on the outside, and soft and airy on the inside with an elegant taste of the sea.

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14 thoughts on “Baked Chard Stems (Coste di Bietola al Forno)

  1. I seem to use a lot of ‘green leafy stuff’ with thick and uninteresting stems: what a good idea since mine usually get boringly sliced and stirfried!! Like the anchovy and marjoram together . . . shall steam and then bake – looking forwards to it!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m with Eha. My stems are destined for a frypan. How lackluster can I get? For my tastes. what makes your preparation a winner, Stefan, is your use of anchovies in the bread crumbs. Much like bacon, anchovies make everything better. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Benvenuto in Liguria! Vedo che hai assimilato perfettamente le regole di cucina di una terra povera di ingredienti, ma ricca di sapori e profumi. Grazie, se sei d’accordo la inserisco nel mio progetto antispreco

    Liked by 2 people

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