Rainbow Chard Stem Pickles

Rainbow chard was buy two get one free at the sweet little farm stand we visit on Saturdays. I knew I wanted to saute the leaves with some garlic and chili and a splash of white wine vinegar, but I wanted to do something different with the stems. I thought about just chopping them up and freezing them for a soup later in the year, but then I remembered a recipe for pickled chard stems from bon appetite.  We just finished off the last of a large batch of kimchi, so I was also in need of more pickled things in my fridge.

Rainbow chard stems. So pretty!
Rainbow chard stems. So pretty!

1 lb chard stems

1/4 cup kosher salt

4-5 garlic cloves, sliced thin

2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar

1 cup water

Trim the green leaves from the stem and rib of each leaf. Wash well to remove all the grit and toss with about 1/4 cup of kosher salt.  Let sit for an hour or so, rinse under cold water and drain.

Meanwhile, toast the mustard and caraway seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 2 minutes.  The mustard seeds will start to pop.  Add the vinegar, sugar and water to the saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add the garlic slices. I also added a pinch of red chili flakes, but that is optional.

Pack the chard stems into a large glass jar so they fit snugly. I cut most of mine in half to make them fit into a large jam jar. Pour the brine over the stems to cover. Screw the lid on and then store in the fridge for a day or two until they are pickled to your liking. I am thinking these will be great garnishes for a cheese platter or a brunch bloody mary bar.

Rainbow chard stem pickles. I can't get over those colors!
Rainbow chard stem pickles. I can’t get over those colors!

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