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Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Swiss chard stalk and tahineh dip (Silq bil-tahina)

Swiss chard stalk and tahineh dip (Silq bil-tahina)
Los Angeles Times

Sputnik came to mind the first time I bought kohlrabi, that odd-looking member of the cabbage family, with its enlarged corm and stems shooting upward all in the same direction. Buy a kohlrabi, cut off the leaves and you will ... Read more

Active work time: 15 minutes | Total preparation time: 35 minutes | Makes 2 cups
  • 1 pound white Swiss chard stalks (from about 3 bunches Swiss chard; save the leaves for another preparation)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup tahineh, stirred if oil and sesame seed paste is separated
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, fried until golden in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil, for garnish
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  • Warm Arabic flatbread, for serving

Step 1Cook the Swiss chard stalks in a pot of boiling water to cover or steam them until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain very well and chop.

Step 2Using a mortar and pestle, mash the salt and garlic together until they form a mushy paste.

Step 3Place the chard in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the tahineh, salt and garlic paste and process until incorporated. Pour the lemon juice into the feed tube as the processor is running until absorbed. Remove the mixture from the food processor and correct the seasoning if necessary.

Step 4Transfer the dip to a serving bowl or platter, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. Make furrows in the puree in a fan shape with the flat of a knife. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with the fried pine nuts and mint. Serve the dip with pieces of Arabic bread.

Note: Tahini, a sesame seed paste, is sold in Middle Eastern and Greek markets and some supermarkets, usually with the "international" foods.

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