I've been curious about vinegar-free pickled chard stems for quite some time. I saw a recipe while perusing books down at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, and thought it sounded like the most brilliant idea. I think the recipes was in the book Preserving Foods without Canning or Freezing, a wonderful collection of wisdom from the gardens and farmers of Terre Vivant in France. This book has been on my wishlist for ages (hint, hint), but I just haven't gotten around to purchasing it.
Despite my lack of a recipe for these phantom chard stem pickles, I couldn't shake the idea, and knew I'd have to try it out someday. I generally incorporate chard stems into whatever dish I'm making with our trusty leafy friend. Waste not, want not, right? Then the other day I made an experimental batch of collard, kale, mustard and chard greens sauerkraut with homegrown produce from my garden, and ended up with a ton of leftover chard stems. Finally, fodder for pickles!