Anna Klinger's Grilled Swiss Chard Stems with Anchovy Vinaigrette

By Genius Recipes
September 25, 2012
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Author Notes: 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.Genius Recipes

Serves: 4

Anchovy Vinaigrette

  • 2 ounces anchovies (preferably salt-packed, cleaned, rinsed, and soaked in a few changes of milk -- see note)
  • 1/2 ounce minced garlic (about 3 small cloves)
  • 3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (or more to taste)
  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.
  2. Note: To soak anchovy fillets, cover in milk by about an inch for 12-24 hours, changing the milk once or twice. Taste them periodically for saltiness. They're ready when they have the level of saltiness you like. If over-soaked, they could end up very bland.

Grilled Swiss 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
  1. Wash the chard stems, cut off any dark edges, and cut into 5 to 6-inch lengths.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Toss with the Anchovy Vinaigrette and a splash of sherry vinegar. Serve warm.

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