Cabbage is substituted by chard in this Pacific Northwestern version of a Scandinavian recipe. Light, nutritious and deliciously healthy, the chard leaves are stuffed with a grain of choice alongside Oregonian staples like hazelnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese and late summer veggies for a satisfying and wholesome dish. The red, pink, white and yellow veins of rainbow chard leaves are an excellent choice for this chard recipe, especially if you are looking for visual appeal. Serve it as a main vegetarian dish with a side of yogurt sauce, homemade chutney or lemons wedges, or make smaller ones to serve as pop-in-your-mouth appetizers.
Stuffed Chard Recipe
8 – 10 very large organic chard leaves, stems finely chopped
2 tablespoons organic walnut oil (can be substituted with other oils)
1 organic white onion, chopped
2 organic garlic cloves, minced
1 small organic patty pan squash, diced
1 organic carrot, grated
1 teaspoon freshly ground organic black pepper
1 teaspoon organic paprika
1 teaspoon organic cumin
1 cup cooked organic quinoa or rice
¼ cup fresh organic parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
¼ cup organic walnuts or filberts (hazelnuts), chopped
2 tablespoons dried organic cranberries
fresh organic goat cheese, crumbled
Cut the chard stems off in a V shape at the base of the chard leaves, chop the stems and set them aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil and quickly blanch the chard leaves to soften them. Gently rinse the leaves with cold water and place them on a plate.
Heat the oil in a skillet or frying pan and cook the onions, garlic and vegetables until soft. Add the spices shortly before taking the vegetables off the heat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a baking dish that will fit all of the chard rolls. In a mixing bowl combine the quinoa or rice, cooked vegetables, parsley, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, cranberries and walnuts. You can choose to mix goat cheese into the stuffing or serve it separately to sprinkle on top of the cooked rolls.
Use a cutting board as your filling station, placing on leaf stem side facing up on it and plopping about 2 tablespoons of filling on the leaf. Tuck in the sides and top end of the leaf and roll it up like a burrito. Place the roll in the baking dish and do the same with the rest of the chard leaves. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are hot. Serve as a main dish or an appetizer if using smaller chard leaves.
Image: Andrew Scivani