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Typically a committed duo, salt and pepper have found a tarty friend – sumac – and they’re bringing her in as their third. The perfect gustatory menage à trois, these chard chips are salty, citrusy, and peppery all at the same time. Invite this swinging threesome into your home as a snack, on a appetizer plate, alongside a sandwich or burger, even as an edible garnish on a cheese tray or hor d’oeuvre platter.
The first time I made these chips I made them the slow way, de-stalking the chard, chopping it into pieces, massaging the spice mixture in with my hands. If necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness is its wicked stepmother. After that crafty she-devil came out whining about how much time I spent on making chips, I did a bit of pondering and came up with a plan. The full details are below, but the takeaway is that you can save yourself a lot of time by putting the entire leaf, stalk and all, into the oven.
- 1 bunch red chard, wash and dry, do not remove stems or chop
- 1 bunch green chard, wash and dry, do not remove stems or chop
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt (Please note if you are sub-ing with table salt then use less salt)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of peppercorns (I used a mixture of different colours)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sumac
- Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a small bowl and combine with the sumac and the oil.
- Lay an entire chard leaf on a baking sheet. Lightly brush the oil and spice mixture on the chard. You don’t need to do the stalk as you’ll be removing it later. Grab another leaf and repeat. Don’t stack them on top of each other – have each in a single layer. This will probably take several baking sheets and you might need to do it in batches.
- Put the chard in the oven at 300. Check the chard after 6 minutes or so. My red chard took 10 minutes, the green took about 13 minutes. You want them crunchy but not burnt. They will crunch up a bit when you remove them from the oven, so err on the side of less done if you are concerned.
- Once done, remove from the oven and side aside until cool enough to handle.
- Using scissors, cut the leaves off of the stalks and then transfer the leaves/chips to your serving dish. (Compost the stalks)
- Enjoy! And tell me what you think! It’s Fall here in Vancouver, Canada and these look a bit like the dried maple leaves that are all over the sidewalks now. But don’t worry, they don’t taste like them!
PS – If you are buying sumac for this recipe, here are a couple of very different recipes where you can use it again: Sexed-Up Shredded Wheat, and Seaweed, Avocado, and Nectarine Salad with Sumac and Honey Dressing.
Fall at My House
Isn’t this a trippy pic? And probably even more so for a post that ostensibly celebrates the vegetal and wholesome! From that perspective, the gloves look vaguely disturbing. But they are just work gloves and my partner has been working really hard lately – hence the “Fall” of gloves. They’re so red and full of movement – kind of like the crimson chard above. I actually went out and bought a tripod just so I could take the pic. The gloves were lying on the shower floor, so the tripod made it easier to get an overhead shot.