These grilled swiss chard and corn bites with parsley pesto (with anchovies:) make a fresh, zesty snack. They also pair famously well with IPAs and come together in less than ten minutes.
Since today is considered IPA day (international event, falls on the first Thursday of August), Chris and I will definitely be enjoying a few India pale ales in the evening. Gotta observe every craft beer style related day ever, right? Technically today is also Clean Your Floors Day, but I am going to ignore that one.
(Isn’t it craaazy how many national/international you name it days there are??)
Colorado sweet corn is plentiful right now and there is tons of Swiss chard at the market. Chris and I frequently ‘stuff’ the swiss chard leaves with a mixture of spiced ground pork, chopped onions and rice, then cook them in tomato sauce until the rice is done. It is a variation of the stuffed wine leaves I grew up eating, topped with Bulgarian yogurt. Chris loves those and when we first got married I made them for him all the time.
The stems of the leafy green do not really play a role in that dish though. Instead of throwing them away, we like to saute them and serve them as a side, drizzled with olive oil & lemon juice or incorporate them into salads or grilled veggie platters.
Grilled Swiss chard stems retain a degree of firmness after grilling which makes them very ‘dippable’. Corn on the cob sliced in wheels is also quite easy to handle as finger food.
Today I present you with one of my favorite dips ever.
Essentially it is a parsley pesto with anchovies, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese. It partners very well with all sorts of veggies sticks, but grilled corn bites and grilled Swiss chard stems are what we are focused on presently. You must try this combo. Its flavor profiles are as vibrant in your mouth as its appearance is pleasing to the eye.
Do not let the sleek white plate presentation fool you. I chose a white plate to help the colors pop in the pictures, but you can easily throw the grilled Swiss chard and corn bites onto a cutting board and present the parsley pesto in a dipping dish next to them. Utensils not required. IPA recommended.
In the pictures we have Chris’ home brewed New England style IPA, batch 2. Most IPAs will pair really well with this snack. There is an ever so faint, slightest of hints level of bitterness to the grilled Swiss chard stems that matches the hoppy bitterness in IPAs.
The anchovy and Parmesan induced saltiness of the pesto, coupled with the herbal notes of the parsley and the garlic bite are a heck of a flavor backdrop for hoppy beers…Tried and true. And if you wanted to enhance the experience, sprinkle some hop salt over the corn and the chard.
Other pairing ideas for IPAs we have posted so far are these Blistered Shishito Peppers and Green Papaya Salad with Chinese Sausage. Looking forward to sharing so many more! Thank you for stopping by and cheers to IPAs!
- 12 Swiss chard stems, about 3 inches long
- 2 corn on the cob, sliced in wheels
- 2 packed cups of flat leaf Italian parsley, long stalks discarded
- 1 2 oz tin of anchovies in olive oil (use less or omit if not an anchovy fan)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (adjust as per your tolerance/preference)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (more if you prefer)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup water - optional, you may need it to thin out the dip if you end up with a thicker consistency
- Brush the Swiss chard stems and corn wheels with cooking oil and grill until slightly charred. Let cool off until comfortable to touch.
- In a blender combine the parsley, garlic, anchovies (together with the olive oil they were in), lemon juice and pulse.
- Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.
- Transfer to a bowl and fold in the grated Parmesan cheese. Thin out with water if necessary.
- Serve the Swiss chard and corn bites with the parsley pesto as a dip.