1) It gives wonderful depth of colour ranging from a delightful pink tinge to spaghetti sauce or something more polished to stock.
2) The stalks taste lovely raw. If they are too ropey, finely chop and add to stock.
Things I’ve done with it lately:
- Started off with plain chicken stock made from wings (of course). I keep that in the freezer. Defrosted, added fairly finely chopped vegetables: some ordinary cabbage, peas, a bit of broccoli, parsley – to taste and according to what you have to hand. I included all the chopped stalks of a bunch of chard, having used the leaves for other things. Just before serving, I added a bag of tortellini, spinach and cheese which serves two. A few minutes later, serve. You might want to put parmesan on the table, but I don’t think this needs it.
- risotto with prunes and pinenuts and lots of the leaves finely chopped. My base is olive oil, shallots, and white wine. Love the colour of this.
- spaghetti sauce consisting of tin of tuna, finely chopped leaves, garlic, shallots, olive oil, served with parmesan.