Stems from Swiss chard are often mistakenly thought of as too tough or fibrous to eat. All they need is a bit of extra cooking to make them tender and sweet. Here is one of our favorite ways to use a lot of "leftover" stems. Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes. Notes: While this recipe calls for stems from 2 bunches of chard, it is adaptable to however many stems you have--just adjust the amount of cheese and bread crumbs proportionately. Panko, or Japanese bread crumbs, are very light and crunchy; find them at Asian markets.
1 tablespoon salt
Stems from about 2 bunches of Swiss chard, trimmed of discolored ends
1 clove garlic, halved
About 1 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup panko (see Notes) or fresh white bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and chard stems. Boil until stems are tender to the bite, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Rub a medium-size shallow baking dish with the cut sides of the garlic clove halves. Butter the dish and then put in the chard stems. In a sealable plastic bag, mix bread crumbs, parmesan, and 1 tbsp. butter. Sprinkle mixture on stems. Cook until top is browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.