We love greens of any type, so I am always on the lookout for fresh, locally grown greens on market days. I recently bought a huge bunch of bietole, or swiss chard, that we cut up and used in a number of dishes. The stems however I saved to simply blanch, and then after I sprinkle on some fresh seasoned breadcrumbs mixed with grated parmesan cheese, I pop them in the oven to brown the crumb topping and then serve the stems as a side dish. I have known folks to buy chard, cut off the green tops to use in their recipes and then simply throw away the stems which is really a waste of a good vegetable side dish!
by Deborah Mele
Stems From One Large Bunch Bietole
1 1/2 Cups Homemade Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Trim the stems of any brown areas and cut them into 3 inch pieces. Blanch the stems in boiling salted water for 2 or 3 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain. Oil an oven-proof casserole dish and place the stems in the dish. In a separate bowl, mix together the crumb topping ingredients until the mixture is well blended. Sprinkle the mixture over the stems and then bake for about 10 minutes or until the crumb topping has begun to brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.