Make this spread using the stems of Swiss chard and you'll never throw them out again

Roasting them brings out tons of flavour, using red stems bring out the prettiest colour!

Roasting them brings out tons of flavour, using red stems bring out the prettiest colour!

(Photography by Leila Ashtari)

Many people throw vegetable stems out simply because they don’t know how to cook them. But if you roast your Swiss chard stems, you may never discard them again. If you love hummus or baba ghanoush, wait till you try this tangy twist. Use any chard stems, but using red stems yields a pretty pale pink spread.

Swiss Chard Stem Spread


  • 4 cups chopped Swiss chard stems (about 1 lb)
  • 4 tsp and ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or pushed through a garlic press
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • Lemon zest, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the stems in for 5 minutes. Drain well and pat them dry with a paper towel or cloth.

Toss the stems with the  garlic, the 4 teaspoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast the stems in the oven for 12 minutes.

Blend the roasted chard stems with the remaining olive oil, tahini, and lemon juice in a food processor until it’s very smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Yield: Makes 3 cups

Ariel Lefkowitz is a Canadian/American food writer, chef, and video journalist based in Montreal, QC. She has been a trained chef for over a decade. Ariel believes that cooking is a critical part of self-care that should be joyful, sustainable and accessible. She is currently developing a comedic cooking show, titled ‘Cooking in the Cut’. Follow her at @cookinginthecut.


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