Stuffed Swiss chard Rolls

Stuffed Swiss Chard A relative of spinach and beets, Swiss chard offers fantastic antioxidant protection in the form of carotenoids, which help maintain eye health, boost immunity, and may even fight cancer. But, besides your standard "cook greens to death, maybe with bacon" method, what can you do with this slightly bitter leafy green with the colorful stems? Fresh, light, lovely—yet substantial enough to make a meal—these stuffed Swiss chard rolls are kind of a game changer. Who knew you could use Swiss chard's large, surprisingly strong, nutrient-rich leaves as a burrito-wrap substitute? As with most things here on our food blog, you could stuff a chard leaf with pretty much anything (let your imagination run wild!), but here we have a delectable mix of ancient quinoa—available now in bulk at the Co-op— and mushrooms for an earthy and elegant vegetarian meal. To make them softer, more delicious, and easier to roll up, this recipe calls for blanching the chard leaves before adding the filling, you could use this same technique with collards, gomen, or non-curly kale.

Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls Serves 6

  • 2  bunches Swiss chard (about 2 pounds)
  • 1  cup quinoa
  • 2 1/4  cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1  tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2  shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • 1  pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed, caps cleaned
  • 1/2  pound fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cleaned
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch chard until tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer chard to the ice bath, let cool, then transfer to paper towels and pat dry. Reserve leaves, being careful not to tear them. Cut off stem, making a V shape about 1 inch up from bottom of leaf. Chop stems into 1/4-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, place quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and stir once. Reduce heat; simmer (uncovered) until quinoa is tender and has absorbed all liquid, about 15 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl, keep in a warm place.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high; add butter and oil. When hot, add shallots and carrots; cook, stirring, until shallots are translucent, about 1 minute. Add mushroom caps, chard stems, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Sauté until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Add mushroom mixture to quinoa. Coarsely chop 1 tablespoon marjoram (or add 1/2 teaspoon dried); stir into quinoa.

Divide chard leaves into six portions. Form one portion into a 6-by-10-inch rectangle, overlapping leaves so there are no gaps. Place 1/2 cup quinoa mixture at a short end, then roll up a chard, enclosing sides. Brush lightly with oil; place in an 8-inch baking dish. Repeat, making 5 more rolls. Bake until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.

 

Recipe and images adapted from A Cook's Companion