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Chard Stems with Sesame-Yogurt Sauce and Black Sesame Seeds

(recipe, Deborah Madison)

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  1. 8 oz. chard stems, trimmed into pieces 4 inches long
  2. Sea salt
  3. Olive oil
  4. 1 large garlic clove, halved
  5. 1 heaping tablespoon tahini
  6. ⅓ cup or more full-fat yogurt
  7. 2 tsp. black sesame seeds
  8. 1 lemon, quartered


  1. Bring a shallow skillet of water to a boil. Add salt to taste, a teaspoon of oil, half the garlic clove, and the chard stems. Simmer until they’re tender. (This can take as little as 4 or 5 minutes, or somewhat longer, depending on size. The best way to find out is to remove one, slice into it and take a bite.) When they're done, set them in a colander to drain for a few minutes, then toss them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.
  2. To make the sauce, pound the remaining half garlic clove in a mortar with ¼ teaspoon salt until mushy and smooth. Add the tahini and yogurt and work until smooth.
  3. Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat for several minutes until they begin to smell fragrant, then turn them onto a plate so they don’t burn.
  4. To serve, set the stems on individual plates, add a spoonful of the sauce, the sesame seeds, and a wedge of lemon. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature.