Looking for a resourceful way to use up the stalks from your swiss or rainbow chard bounty? The use of chard stalks as a hummus is somewhat common in mediterranean cooking. I came across the idea in Root-to-Stalk Cooking by Tara Duggan. Paula Wolfert's The Cooking of Eastern Mediterranean and Clifford Wright's Mediterranean Vegetables also provide variations, among others. I adapted this dip using my favorite hummus recipe, heavy on the tahini and garlic. I was pleasantly awed by the texture - it perfectly captures the creaminess of hummus, and I'm still rapt in the memory of the garlicky lemon flavor. This dip is pink because I used rainbow chard stalks as that's what I had on hand, but for a beige-colored dip, use swiss chard stalks. —Chase the Flavors
Steam the chard stalks using a steamer pot. Add about an inch of water to the base pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Place chard in the steaming pot above and cover with a lid. Steam until the stalks are tender and soft, between 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Combine cooked chard stalks, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a food processor. Process until a thick paste forms. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water, then continue processing until the dip is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to use. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and pumpkin seeds, if desired. Serve with fresh pita and enjoy within a few days.