Recipes for Blette please (especially the stalks)

We like Blette and I’ve just bought some fresh today. I strip off all the green and cook it like spinach. I’ve put a couple of the stalks chopped up small into our chicken stew, forms a nice base to the stock. That still leaves me with about half a dozen large white stalks to use. Any suggestions?
And any other ideas for the greenery (apart from cooking like spinach) please.

1.Wash them dry them. Slice them into bits about 2 fingers wide. Heat up some butter or oil with a squashed garlic clove and chuck them in, stir them about a bit then put in a bit of oyster sauce or soy sauce if no oyster sauce and keep stirring, ready in another 5 minutes.

2.Washemdryemslicem. heat up some butter with a very thinly sliced onion, add your blettes, salt pepper nutmeg spoonful of creme fraiche, voilà.

3.And au gratin the usual way.


My very elderly copy of Cuisine Niçoise by Jacques Medeçin (the notorious racist former mayor of Nice and convicted criminal) helpfully observes that the Niçois eat so much bléa (blette) that they sometimes refer to themselves as*‘caga-bléa’* (translation unnecessary).

Medeçin gives several blette recipes - boiled tops, in green fresh pasta, in green gnocchi, variations of Vero’s above, in trouchia a thick omelette eaten cold, in quicou (not worth the effort, but if curious see

Personally though, I can’t stand the stuff. My previous partner made the mistake of renting out one of her fields to a pair of lesbian wannabe organic farmers and, being a generous type, she let them pay her with some of what they grew. Unfortunately the only thing they seemed capable of growing was Swiss chard and, every Friday through the winter they left a big box of it on the back doorstep. Even the addition of garlic and anchovies (Medeçin) can’t make chard interesting.

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Sorry to disagree with @DrMarkH but we found chard - stalks and green bits - to be surprisingly tasty.

My favourite for using the stalks @SuePJ is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Chard Stalk Gratin. When my partner had to go on a vegetarian diet for a while, this was one of the dishes we actively enjoyed rather than tolerated :rofl:

Slice the stalks across in 1cm bits. A bit of oil and butter in a pan and fry them over a medium heat with some chopped garlic, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes until tender. Add chopped thyme leaves, salt and pepper and quite a bit of double cream. When bubbling, put into a gratin dish and scatter over grated parmesan/gruyere and breadcrumbs. Put under a hot grill until brown.

We eat it with new potatoes in season, or dressed puy lentils.


But tourte de bléa is lovely :relaxed: ok you have to get around the cognitive dissonance of it being a sweet blette pie but it is good! I used to spend a good chunk of every school hols in Nice, oh the joys of spending my pocket money on socca and gratta keka :heart_eyes:

Thought my post might press that button!

I’m sure you’re right, but I’m not a very sweet person - just ask my wife :wink:

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We use blette much like any other veg……as well as stir fry type things we do slightly sweated stalks with feta in a quiche, mix with other veg to stuff cannelloni tubes, in a risotto with mushroom and squash. All sorts! The stalks are very versatile as they don’ go to mush and are relatively forgiving about cooking times/temp.


Only just seen this. One of my favourite greens, or at least in the absence of cavolo nero, which is less available here in France (yes I know Grand Frais occasionally has it - at a price). And I rarely see rainbow chard, which is really pretty, but I am splitting hairs now.

And I do split the chard, and generally buy it from our local bio co-op in decent quantities fresh from the field. I immediately wash it and slice the green away from the stalk, then spin the greens in a salad spinner and store in a microporous bag in the fridge. The stalks I leave whole in another microporous bag but often use the two together, either as a vegetable in its own right, or in soups (eg minestrone) or stir-fries where it handles Chinese style flavouring well. It keeps easily a week in the salad drawer but usually doesn’t last that long, and I just draw from both bags as and when I need it.

On its own I saute the chopped stalks in olive oil with garlic, adding the chopped leaves when the stalks are beginning to turn translucent. Then (and it is only a few minutes) I often add a splash of pineau de charente to deglaze and a large spoon of thick creme fraiche. Serve with plenty of fresh ground black pepper - it goes well with most grilled or roasted meats.


I have found blette (rainbow and otherwise) to be very easy to grow and we have a constant supply here - at least until a really hard frost bursts the stems at any rate!

Cavalo Nero is also easy to grow (once you can get it to germinate, that is!) and just a very few plants last us all winter…

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I LOVE growing rainbow chard and as Angela said it is very forgiving AND it looks gorgeous in the garden! I love it, tastes yummy! To be honest I harvest earlier than the very thick stalks you often see in the shops, they are more tender. If you eat low carb steamed stalks are yum dipped in googy eggs!

In Australia we actually call it spinach, and normal spinach we call English Spinach. I guess too hot to grow succesfully ! So basically any spinach recipe can be subbed, particularly when they are quite young.

Chard is closely related to spinach beet which is what I grow instead of “normal” spinach which, as you say @toryroo is terribly sensitive to heat. I actually prefer spinach beet to chard, slightly, as the stems aren’t thick and hence survive serious cold better without splitting. Probably not a problem where you are though :smiley: