Vegetarian Stuffed Swiss chard Rolls
Palestinian cuisine is rich and loaded with vegetables and seasonal ingredients. A whole pot of rolled vegetarian stuffed Swiss chard leaves from my garden. Stuffed with a vegetarian herby rice mixture, hand rolled and are ready to hit the stove. I am in love with Swiss chard. The leaves are gorgeous green and the stems are rainbow colors. And I grew up with the idea that any food that's stuffed or rolled comes to you with lots of love (lots).
Keep in mind this is a time consuming dish but it’s so worth making. The Swiss chard leaves have a nice earthy flavor, loaded with so many vitamins, combined with an herby rice mixture, chopped tomatoes, fresh lemon juice and the olive oil create a perfectly bright and delicious sauce you would want to drink straight up.
Vegetarian Swiss chard rolls
4-5 vine tomatoes diced
2 sliced tomatoes for the top
2 cups short grain rice rinsed
1.5 cups finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 3 tbls for the pot
Juice of two lemons
1 bunch of green onions chopped
1 jalapeño diced (optional)
1 12oz can of rinsed chickpeas
2 bunches of Swiss chard
Salt, pepper, to taste
2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
few grates of fresh nutmeg
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 head of garlic not peeled just divided (optional)
Directions of the stuffing:
Rinse the rice few times until water runs clear. Add all ingredients and mix well to combine.
Rinse the Swiss chard leaves. Take out the stem from the middle dividing the leaf to two halves or if the leaves are small keep them whole (reserve the stalks). Blanch the leaves for 2 seconds in boiling salted water. Then shock quickly in ice cold water so they retain their beautiful bright green color.
to stuff the leaves: lay the leaf flat on your surface, add a tble of the stuffing to the middle of the leaf, roll one, fold in the sides and roll tightly.
Add the remaining 3 tbls of olive oil to the pot, line the swiss chard stalks on top.
Stack the stuffed leaves in a pot so snug so they don't open while cooking. I add the garlic cloves in between the leaves my kids just love them. Ok they actually fight about them. Add the sliced tomatoes on top. Add enough water just to slightly cover the leaves. Add salt to tatse. Add a heat proof plate to the top of the stuffed chard leaved so they stay in place and not unfold during the cooking process.
Bring the pot to boil, reduce the heat to simmer, and cook covered for 45 min- 60 minutes until the swiss chard is cooked through.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt and extra squeeze of lemon juice.
They are slightly tangy and so so satisfying. My idea of a perfect pot of comfort food.