This is an ingenious Middle Eastern dish, and another example of how Mediterranean cooks never let a thing go to waste.
Swiss Chard Stalk and Tahini Dip
- 1 pound Swiss chard stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled, green shoots removed (to taste)
- 1/2 cup tahini, stirred if the oil has separated
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint for garnish (optional)
- Either boil the chard stalks in salted water or steam them until tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
- In a mortar, pound the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt until you have a smooth paste. Add to the chard stalks. Process until smooth. Add the tahini and process until smooth. With the machine running, add the lemon juice and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stop the machine, taste and adjust seasonings.
- Transfer the dip to a wide bowl or platter. Smooth the surface with a spoon, then create small furrows with a fork or a knife. Drizzle on the olive oil, and decorate with the pine nuts and mint.
- Variation: For a more garlicky version, use up to 6 cloves of garlic.
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