Swiss chard stalks salad (Selk bel-tahineh)

In  third world countries or countries euphemistically described as in the process of development, the local cuisine strives to use up every available foodstuff; hence in Lebanon, not only is the swiss chard  widely consumed  but the stalks are eaten as well in a separate mezze dish. If you like the ubiquitous tarator dressing, used on shawarma, falafel sandwiches, hummos and boiled vegetables, then you will readily  adopt  the swiss chard stalks.

Personally, I would eat anything  smothered in tarator dressing.


  • Stalks left over from swiss chard leaves
  • Beets, green peas, potatoes, cauliflower, boiled or steamed
  • For the tarator dressing:
  • 4 or more garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • a few tablespoons of fresh chopped italian parsley or dill or cilantro


  1. Separate the leaves from the stalks; cut the stalks in one inch segments; place in a pan with boiling water or steam until the stalks are tender to your liking, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  1. Make the tarator dressing: mash the garlic cloves with a dash of salt in a mortar; add the fresh lemon juice and stir; transfer to a small bowl, add the tahini and keep stirring; it will seize and curdle, keep adding water until the dressing is smooth; taste for seasoning. Serve.

NOTE: A popular variation on this dressing is to add a few tablespoons of chopped parsley; I had some dill which I added, as I think dill goes well with the beets.

The type of tahini is important; make sure you use a light-colored one.

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  1. Posted March 30, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for visiting my blog. My father studied at the American U in Beirut in the 60′s. I look forward to reading your blog. This is a beautiful presentation for Swiss Chard stalks,

  2. Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    the chard is so bright and fresh looking – nice

  3. Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    what great fresh!!


  4. Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Love the bright colours and aesthetic presentation :)

  5. Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, so beautiful! I love tarator dressing, you’ve inspired me to put it on more than just shawarma and falafel.

  6. Posted March 30, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    very beautiful…and so tempting too

  7. Posted March 31, 2010 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    simply awesome peas i love and chard too – i have to admit that i usually reserved the stalks for things like stock etc. but adding it in a salad is great!

  8. Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Hello Taste of Beirut – First of all beautiful blog – I discovered it after following a comment from you on Sarah Maison cup cake. secondly, your Beirut guide does not seem to be working – I am heading there for Easter and would love any restaurant tips you have – especially for somewhere which serves authentic Lebanese food. Would it be possible to leave a comment on my blog or email me at missgourmetchick[at]gmail[dot]com – Thanks heaps!

  9. Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Almost everyday am learning new dishes from ur space..thanks again for this beautiful dish..

  10. Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    A great combo! that is one of my favorite sauces. I use it as a salad dressing a lot…



  11. Posted March 31, 2010 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Looks fresh, colourful, healthy and delicious. I like it. Love the presentation.

  12. Posted March 31, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I love Swiss Chard!! What an incredible website!! I am always looking for new foods to feed my girls, you have provided a treasure trove of recipes!!

  13. Posted March 31, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful dish! Healthy and delicious!

  14. Posted March 31, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    This salad looks frseh and perfect for Spring. I can’t wait to try it. I don’t normally cook with Swiss chard. This would be a nice change.


  15. Posted March 31, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I love this, mom used to make it a lot. I should be trying it soon too :)

  16. Posted March 31, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink


    At home here or in Brazil we never waste anything. Stalks of swiss chard, beet greens and stalks as well as stalks of collard greens and kale are always braised with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and served as side dish. It takes so much energy for them to be produced and brought to out tables. It is sort of respect we pay mother nature by not wasting food. It is also economical!
    Your recipe looks delicious and nutritious! I have yet to taste it with your tahini dressing

  17. Posted March 31, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I love dishes that use up food that might normally be thrown away. This dish looks for colorful. I would love to try it.

  18. Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    another amazing post from your awesome blog

  19. Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Congrats on being mentioned on the “Blogs with Bite” list!

  20. Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I love Tarator dressing too, Joumana, though I didn’t know it was called that. I just know the dressing that comes with my falafel at my local Lebanese shop is delicious-always ask for extra. I’m going to make this tonight if I have everything. Oh, and I love using the stalks of veggies, so I’ll be sure not to waste my Swiss Chard stalks anymore!

  21. Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m also a fan of the stalks/stems in swiss chard — they add a nice crunch!
    You might like this side dish that adds golden raisins and pine nuts to the chard!

  22. Posted April 1, 2010 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Très jolie couleur et nouveau pour moi !
    Une variété de légumes qui me plait !
    Très bonne journée,
    Bisous, Doria

  23. Posted April 1, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    One of my favourites….


  24. Posted April 1, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I love the sound of this recipe and it is definitely a different way of preparing Swiss chard than I am used to. I do love tahini with about anything. Cannot wait to give it a try.

  25. Posted April 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    J’adore les couleurs de ce plat

  26. Posted April 3, 2010 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    I am a garlic fan, but that sounds like a lot of garlic. I wouldn’t use large cloves that is for sure. Yes, your tarator dressing sounds like it would compliment heaps of food. Love it.

  27. Posted April 4, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I LOVE the chard stalks, and it annoys me to no end that people would throw them away. This is an awesome new thing for me to do with them, thanks!!

  28. Fuad
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I just made this recipe today, it’s awesome! Reminded me a lot of my late grandma’s cooking. Thanks for posting this Joumana.

  29. Posted August 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I am making a Swiss Chard salad tonight and was looking for something to make with the stalks and came upon your blog and this recipe – I am delighted to have found your blog! I hate to waste good food and am torn between this recipe and the dip made with the stalks….both sound delicous! My garden is full of rainbow chard though so I will try both eventually – thanks!

  30. Joumana
    Posted August 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    @Katherine: the stalks here are also used when making lentil soup (cut up like you would celery); so you can parboil them and save them for soup (freeze) later too, as an option. my pleasure :)

5 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Swiss chard stalks in tarator dressing (Selk bel-tahineh) [...]

  2. [...] Swiss chard stalks &#1110&#1495 tarator dressing (Selk bel-tahineh) [...]

  3. By Stuffed greens with lamb chops on January 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    [...] NOTE: You can either place the stalks on top of the leaves ans eat them with the stock alongside the leaves or make a salad with them which is what is traditionally done. For a salad recipe, click here. [...]

  4. By Chard tart on July 7, 2012 at 4:35 am

    [...] Wash the chard well and remove the stalks and set aside (for another recipe). Pour 8 cups of water into a pot, drop a large pinch of salt into it and when boiling drop the [...]

  5. By Stuffed greens with lamb chops | Food Recipes on July 8, 2012 at 4:45 am

    [...] NOTE: You can either place the stalks on top of the leaves and eat them with the stock alongside the leaves or make a salad with them which is what is traditionally done. For a salad recipe, click here. [...]

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