From Too Many Chefs -

May 10, 2005
Chard Rolls

Jeffrey Steingarten in his book "The Man Who ate Everything" rails against the ubiquitous restaurant favorite dish - "stuff stuffed with stuff." Sorry Jeff, but this is one of those recipes.

This is a perfect winter dish which I hauled out because it's been a bit chilly here recently, and I had some root veggies to use up. The recipe is based on one Deborah Madison published in her Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone book. You could serve this as a main dish or as a side.

In fact, the dish that immediately lept to mind for this dish was some sort of pork roast or pork chop recipe. In that case, you might add chopped nuts and maybe raisins to the filling. For almost any hearty main dish, you can conceive of a filling that would make these a perfect accompaniment. It's a very flexible recipe.

One piece of advice - look for chard that has broad leaves. You can overlap smaller leaves to make a roll but it's much easier to use broad leaves.

Swiss Chard Rolls after a recipe by Deborah Madison

1 bundle Swiss Chard with stems
4 medium or 6 small potatoes, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 onion, diced
3 scallions, sliced into 1/4" bits
Other vegetables as desired - celery, parsnip, etc...
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste

Trim stems from Chard leaves, leaving a vaguely heart shaped leaf. Dice and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add garlic, onions, carrots, and potatoes plus any other vegetables that might need a little high heat to break them down. Toss vegetables in skillet with oil to coat. Add a pinch of salt and sautee until onions start to go translucent.

Add stock and the rest of the vegetables to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are cooked but not mushy.

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water with a big pinch of salt. When boiling, add chard leaves and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the leaves and carefully unfold them. They should still have some firmness.

When the vegetables are done, remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon, draining them thoroughly and leaving as much stock behind as possible. Add lemon juice and mix. Taste for seasoing and add salt and pepper as required.

Spread a leaf out on the counter and place two tablespoons of filling on the leaf in the center. Fold the long edges in over the filling, then roll the leaf up the other direction. You should end up with a nice packet. Repeat with rest of leaves.

Place the packets in the stock left in the skillet. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until hot throughout.

Serve as is or with rice as a main course or as a side to any hearty dish.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at May 10, 2005 7:07 AM | TrackBack

Looks delicious: I love the glistening leaves! Personally, I like stuff that is stuffed with stuff, but maybe just because it's more fun to make! Does Mr. Steingarten have something against ravioli? Pita bread? Burritos? Food? Life?

Posted by Meg in Paris on May 11, 2005 at 7:31 AM

Jeffrey Steingarten can stuff it. These look beautiful, not least because we, too, are feeling a reprise of the cold, dank breath of winter's kiss.

Oooooh, poetic. I just meant "I like stuff stuffed with stuff."

Posted by Elsa on May 11, 2005 at 8:51 AM