Veggie-stuffed veggies?! Can it get any better than that? Swiss rolls are on the menu today, and no, we’re not talking the dessert that comes in a box.
When you think of Swiss rolls, you might be transported back to your childhood, picturing a box of the Little Debbie’s confections – those mini chocolate cake rolls, filled with crème, and enrobed in more chocolate. While these tasty treats might elicit nostalgia, we’d like to offer you a slightly healthier version of this Swiss roll; a version where Swiss chard replaces the chocolate and more veggies and brown rice replace that artificial crème.
Who knew you could use Swiss chard leaves as a wrap for burrito-ing up all kinds of delicious, healthy fillings! Both the stems and the leaves of the chard are wonderfully edible, so no matter what recipe you use, be sure to incorporate the whole plant into your dish! You can stuff these leaves with whatever you’d like, whether it be meat, veggies, grains, beans, or cheese, but in our recipe this week, we chop up the stems and add them our filling of rice to roll up inside. The rice has a refreshing, Greek flair with Kalamata olives, fresh dill, sundried tomatoes, lemon, and olive oil. Eat them hot or cold burrito-style with your hands, or have at it with a fork and knife, your call.
Here’s our recipe for Swiss chard rolls, in other words, veggie-stuffed Swiss chard.
For the Swiss chard:
5-6 leaves of Swiss chard
For the filling:
1 cup cooked brown rice (can be short or long grain)
½ cup chickpeas
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh dill
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling if desired
Salt and black pepper to taste
Stems from Swiss chard, diced
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in the stalks of Swiss chard and blanch for about 15 seconds, then quickly remove from the water and set aside. Cut off the stems of the Swiss chard by making about a one-inch incision along both sides of the stalk in an angle toward the center of the stalk so as to make a “v” with both cuts. Dice the stems into bite-sized pieces and toss into a mixing bowl. Add the brown rice, chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, dill, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Gently mix together with a spoon.
Once the Swiss chard leaves are cool enough to handle, lay each leaf out longways on a cutting board or clean counter surface. If there are any holes in the leaves, just fold some parts of the leaf on top of itself to close the gap. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the brown rice mixture at the bottom of the leaf and begin to roll the leaf up and around the rice like a burrito, tucking the edge over the rice, folding over each side, then continuing to roll the leaf with the filling forward until you reach the end of the leaf. Place the Swiss chard rolls seam-side down onto a plate and drizzle with olive oil if desired. Eat immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
**you can also eat these rolls warm or hot, baked with marinara sauce on top instead of olive oil, and finished off with feta cheese.