Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pickled Chard Stems

hell yes, we can pickle that.
Quick Pickled Chard Stems.
Chard stems: scrubbed, sliced and ready for pickling.

Get ready dear readers, it's chard week here in the slow club kitchen. Despite the best destructive efforts of the local slug population (slimy little fuckers), I've got a bumper crop this season. This is not a bad position to be in, but it does force a little on-your-feet thinking to avoid drowning in brightly colored leaves or becoming excruciatingly bored eating the same dish night after night. How to preserve this gorgeous bounty??  A stumbled-upon image of sriracha pickled chard stems on the Bon Appetit website was a miraculous revelation.
Of course, pickling is the answer!

I've hybridized a couple of recipes, this one from the New York Times, and the aforementioned sriracha pickled chard stems. The result is sweet, briny and spicy; enjoy them on their own, add the pickles to a summer noodle or salad dish or, if you're feeling a little on the ambitious side, pair with this raw pine nut goat cheese

So lets crank up some punk (the So So Glos' new album"Blowout" is my summer pickling soundtrack) and get down to brining.

Chard stems packed and ready for pickling brine.

Quick Pickled Chard Stems
(fills one 8oz canning jar)

1 cup of chard stems,
leaves removed
3/4c unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4c water
2Tbsp sugar
1Tbsp kosher salt
1/8tsp coriander seeds
1/8tsp black or pink peppercorns
1tsp sriracha

Wash and scrub chard stems and trim off any remaining bits of leaves. 
Slice stems into batons roughly the height of your canning jar, minus 1/4" for headspace. 
Pack stems into canning jar.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, spices and sriracha in a small sauce pan
and bring to a light boil.
Stir until sugar and salt has dissolved.
Pour hot brine over stems, cover and refrigerate.
Leave for at least 2 days and up to 2 weeks for flavors to develop before eating. 
Will keep for up to 1 month in the fridge.

The finished product.

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