Chard stalks hummus (M’tabbal dulu3 el-selek)

This hummus is made with the stalks of swiss chard and it closely resembles baba ghannouj in taste. It is composed of only stalks, tahini, a touch of garlic and lemon juice. It is made  in the communities that prepared rolled  swiss chard leaves with meat and rice stuffing; instead of throwing away the stalks (which are too thick to roll anyway),  folks recycle them this way. It is served traditionally alongside the stuffed chard leaves. 

You may wish to pour a light filet of olive oil on the dip, which is also traditional; the dip is served with pita bread.

In the community I was brought up in, the stalks were prepared by cutting them in inch-size pieces, boiling them and serving them with a tahini sauce. (I used to hate this dish, however, prepared this way I could eat the entire bowl).

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings as a dip

  • 2 cups of cut-up swiss chard stalks
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp of tahini 
  • 1 tsp of mashed garlic
  • salt, to taste
  • olive oil, to garnish
  1. Cut the stalks of the swiss chard into half-inch pieces; place in a saucepan with a little water and boil gently (or steam) till tender. Drain and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. 
  2. Add the tahini, garlic and lemon juice and purée the mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish, add a filet of olive oil if desired and serve with pita bread.

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  1. Posted September 12, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Great way to use those stalks! Have so many recipes that use the leaf only. Thanks for the recipe

  2. Posted September 12, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    This hummus is great and really original! I bet it tastes really good.



  3. Posted September 12, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Love this idea!

  4. Posted September 12, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I have got hooked on chard stalks baked with parmesan, but as I love hummus, IF I can find tahini here I will certainly give this a try. Diane

  5. Michael Kplus
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Excellent! I love recipes where nothing is going to waste!

  6. verkin10
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Great idea.

    Thank you


  7. Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Your recipes never cease to amaze me, Joumana. What a dish! Using the stalks is a great idea.I need to try this, soon.

  8. Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Whoa, this is so unique and resourceful. Very awesome and I will be trying this one out soon.

  9. Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Excellent ^^
    Thank you

    Kiss Mimi

  10. Posted September 13, 2012 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    I love the stalks and am excited to find a way to use them other than my usual simple boiling and eating with olive oil, salt and lemon.

  11. Posted September 13, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Clever! I love recipes that use stuff you’d normally throw away :)

  12. Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Wow, I love chard stalks and often saute the separately the next day after making the leaves. I copied this recipe immediately… love it. I hate people who waste good food ( like throwing away beet stalks and leaves) and applaud brilliant ways to use food that might be tossed. Brava!

  13. Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Je suis curieuse… Au retour du Liban j’ai refait l’hummous pois chiche, un vrai délice avec les ingrédients rapportés et aussi celui aux aubergines mais tu me tentes !!
    Très bientôt maintenant mon billet sur notre escapade au Liban !! Bises

  14. Joumana
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    @Senga: Je l’attends avec impatience!!! Bisous

  15. Posted September 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    And all of these years I have been discarding the stalks in favor of the leaves! I’ll have to check my poor deer-eaten plants to see if I have enough left to try this recipe.

  16. Elena
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    So, I always discarde stalks too . i tried to add him to rice dishes but it was tasteless. Now I’ll try such way.

  17. Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks for another great recipe! We use a lot of chard around here, it’s a popular green in Buenos Aires, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it, especially the stalks.

  18. lanlan
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joumana,

    Let me first start by saying thank you for your wonderful and tasty recipes, I have been a follower for almost 2 years now.
    I have a request if you may allow me, I live in Canada, I am from a lebanese background, and I truly miss the namoura and the kunafe that I grew up in Lebanon. Eventhough we are blessed here with so many lebanese pastry shop and groceries but none of them quiet taste the same as my childhood even when my mom make them. Do you have a good recipes for the namoura, the kunafa with semolina and the kunafa bread?

    Thank you so much and God bless you

  19. Joumana
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    @Ianian: Thanks for the praise, I am honored. As far as the recipes for the nammoura, and the kunafa with semolina and the kunafa bread, do you mean the kunafa kaak? I have a couple of recipes for nammoura (one with coconut and one with cranberries) on the blog which I will link you to and I have a recipe for a mock kunafa. the real thing from the pastry shops in Lebanon is still a guarded recipe and if I succeed in getting it I will definitely share it. I am working on a cookbook in which I will include all of the above in great detail.
    Stay tuned for more! :)
    Take care,

  20. Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    if you like the stalk….pickle it — use the same brine as pickled asparagus, just throw in a piece of red beet into each jar otherwise the color —-well there is no color

    Its the best pickle out there,,, and gets addictive easy everytime you open the fridge and see the jar just sitting there

    and its great as a hostess gift

  21. Joumana
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    @Kathy: GREAT idea! Thanks!!

  22. lanlan
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I meant the kunafi kaak,
    Thanks so much…I am looking forward to get the book, would it be available in NA? is it in english or arabic?

    Thanks alot,

  23. Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Such a good idea – i usually put them in the bin which is tragic although i dont do that to asparagus stalk as i make them into a veggie stock or stained soup. will do the same now

  24. Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    What a fantastic use! I love the waste not, want not appeal of this dish. And I suspect that it’s very yummy too.

  25. Joumana
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    @Lee: The book will be in English.

  26. MontanaKydd
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    This looks beautiful and presentation is very important to me. I have finished Phase II of the HCG diet and am now on Phase III, so this dish is something I can eat. Thank you for the lovely recipe.

  27. ceren
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Hello again Joumana,

    I have finally tried this recipe and even posted on my blog (with the link to your blog as well!). I dont know why but the colour of my humus was more green than yours (maybe because I had more stalks than you did?) My husband loved it :) Thanks for sharing.

    That’s the link to the recipe I posted on my blog if you want:

    Have a nice day


  28. UmmBinat
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    This was great, masha Allah. DH liked it with flat bread as part if breakfast. Off to stuff the leaves insha Allah!

  29. Keith
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Loved the idea but did not have a great experience when following this recipe strictly. Maybe southerners are not big fans of tehini but for me to get a flavor that I and my peeps liked I backed the tehini down from 3 tbsp to 1 to 1.5 and added some additional spices. Used cumin, a little cayenne and increased the garlic and added flat leaf parsley to the recipe. That seemed to do it although I still think I will tinker with this a little more.


  30. Joumana
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    @`Keith: It is all a matter of taste! `my aunt when she makes her eggplant dip `(with tahini) only uses a minimum as to `’not ruin it`” as she says.

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  38. Hummus is great
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I made this tonight, and it is wonderful!! I did make a slight alteration, though. The mention of baba ghannouj gave me an idea to mix in roasted eggplant. This will now be my “go to” recipe for chard stems! Thank you!!

  39. Joumana
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    @ Hummus is great: Great idea! Will try it next time, I have a bag of chard stems in the freezer waiting to be used. :)

2 Trackbacks

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