Those of you who’ve cooked from The CSA Cookbook know that I love to use the odds and ends of vegetables in my recipes — in part because I try to waste as little as possible in the kitchen, and because these “scraps” are vegetables in their own right, full of flavor and texture.
Chard stems are one such scrap that’s sometimes discarded or composted when recipes only call for the tender leaves. The stems, however, have a mild flavor that plays well with other ingredients and a pleasant crispness similar to celery ribs.
If you find yourself with a good handful of stems, don’t toss them — pickle them!
The sriracha pickling brine in this recipe is spicy and tangy, but not so much that you can’t taste the food. It can also be reused for another round or two of chard stem pickles after you eat through the first batch.
Best of all, they’re refrigerator pickles, meaning no boiling water bath is necessary, and beginner canners need not be intimidated. Just grab a jar and go! Get the recipe here or keep scrolling to learn how to make your own.
Sriracha Stem Pickles
Makes 1 quart
2 cups chopped chard stems
1 cup sliced leek, white and light green stem only
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sriracha
Fill a jar with the chard stems, leek, cilantro, and ginger, alternating in layers.
In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the brine over the vegetables in the jar, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace, and seal with a lid.
Chill overnight before serving, though the pickles are best after at least three days.
This is the fifth and final recipe post in my summer-long collaboration with Ball Canning. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series, learned a thing or two, and felt inspired to try something new.
I can’t thank you enough for your support of this partnership and for your enthusiasm in raising money for charity on International Can-It-Forward Day. Let’s do it again next summer!
For more canning recipes and inspiration, head over to Freshly Preserved Ideas.