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
- 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.
- 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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