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Swiss Chard Stems, Grilled with Anchovy Vinaigrette

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Swiss chard stems have the same mineral flavor as the leaves, but lack their gloss and buoyant texture. Chef Anna Klinger, faced with mountains of leftover stems, teases out their innate sweetness by blanching them in well-salted water, grilling them, then swaddling them in an anchovy vinaigrette. Adapted from Chef Anna Klinger of Al Di La restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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Ingredients

  • ANCHOVY VINAIGRETTE:
  • 2 ounces anchovies (preferably salt-packed, cleaned, rinsed, and soaked in a few changes of milk -- see note)
  • 1/2 ounce garlic, minced (about 3 small cloves)
  • 3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes, or more to taste
  • GRILLED CHARD STEMS:
  • Stems from 1 large bunch Swiss chard (save greens for another use)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Anchovy Vinaigrette (above)
  • Splash sherry vinegar

Details

Servings 4
Adapted from food52.com

Preparation

Step 1

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until well combined but still a little chunky. This makes a large quantity. It keeps well and tastes good on everything.

Blanch stems in salted boiling water in batches till just tender, about 2 minutes per batch, then transfer to an ice bath. It is very important to follow all the rules of blanching and not overcrowd the pot. Any shortcuts here results in the color turning black.

Dry the blanched stems, toss them lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place them on the grill in a single layer. Grill long and slow until they become quite dark and charred but not burned.

Toss with the Anchovy Vinaigrette and a splash of sherry vinegar. Serve warm

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