I’ve never been a big chard person. It’s funny because I’ve talked to people who don’t like kale, because they find it too bitter. But they like Swiss chard just fine. I’m exactly the opposite. I really, really like kale – raw or cooked; but I have had trouble cooking chard dishes that I get excited about. Thankfully this Swiss chard hummus is one of the successful chard preparations to come out of my kitchen.
To make this hummus, I paired the chard with earthy green lentils and cilantro for brightness. To bring everything together, I pickled the chard stems, tossed them with chopped stone fruit, and used that as a garnish. That sweet and tangy combo is just heavenly. And fine, I’ll make an acknowledgement to the hummus purists out there. Technically this is not hummus. It’s made with lentils instead of chickpeas, lime juice instead of lemon juice, and some other funky stuff that isn’t in traditional hummus.
That said, we’ve used this anywhere that regular hummus is used. In wraps, as a dip for pita chips, as a snack with carrots and cucumber, etc. It’s a fun twist on the usual. For any cilantro haters, try substituting parsley. This definitely needs an herbaceous note to balance out the bitterness of the chard. I still have a bucket’s worth of rainbow chard in my fridge, so any other recipe suggestions are welcomed =]
Swiss Chard Hummus (with Pickled Chard Stems)
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 and 1/2 limes juiced
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 3 cups loosely-packed de-stemmed chard leaves blanched (measure before blanching), and dried very well
- 2 cups cooked lentils drained and patted dry
- 1/3 up loosely-packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- pickled chard stems to serve (optional, recipe below)
- chopped nectarines, apricots or peaches to serve (optional)
For the quick pickled chard stems:
- stems of 1 bunch Swiss chard chopped
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, anise seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and cloves (or mix and match to equal 2 and 1/2 tsp)
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar of choice (I used coconut sugar)
- 1/4 tsp salt plus to taste
For the pickled chard stems:
- Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until stems have softened and taken on a sweet, tangy flavor. Add salt to taste.
- Remove the cloves and use immediately, or store indefinitely in the pickling liquid in a glass container in the fridge.
For the Swiss chard hummus:
- Add the tahini, garlic, lime juice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and chard leaves to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Add the lentils and seasonings and again, mix until completely smooth.
- Adjust seasonings to taste, and optionally serve garnished with pickled chard stems that have been tossed with chopped stone fruit.
Happy Hump Day!