Swiss Chard ‘Cabbage Rolls’
By: Dr. Peggy Malone
When I was a kid, I thought that everyone ate cabbage rolls. It was just a normal part of my existence with a Hungarian/Czechoslovakian grandmother.
When I think of cabbage rolls, I think of her….in the kitchen, cooking. That’s what she did and she was good at it.
When I got older, I realized that not everyone had a grandmother that made these delicious cabbage wrapped meat goodies and it made me feel just a little bit sad for all those who hadn’t had the delicious joy of the cabbage roll experience.
In my adult life, I still love cabbage rolls and with beautiful swiss chard showing up regularly in my weekly CSA (Community Shared Agriculture), I decided to experiment with a swiss chard version of the traditional, grandmother inspired, cabbage rolls of my youth.
Hence, this summer recipe for these Swiss Chard ‘Cabbage Rolls’.
I’ve included a lot of pictures in this post so you can see my process which will make it easier when you make them in your kitchen.
Start with fresh, organic, beautiful swiss chard:
as well as lots of lovely, local, organic ingredients
You could use ground pork or ground beef. I used pork.
Soak the swiss chard leaves in hot water for approximately 15-20 minutes. This will soften them up and allow for easier rolling.
Trim the veins of the swiss chard to make for easier rolling.
Put a scoop of the meat and rice mixture near the thick end of the swiss chard leaf and get ready to roll.
The rolling technique takes a little practice, but after a couple of rolls you should have the hang of it. Fold in the edges as you roll the swiss chard around the meat mixture.
Keep rolling until you have used up your swiss chard leaves. Don’t worry if there is leftover meat mixture. You will sprinkle it on top before you bake.
Spread the remaining meat mixture over the rolls and then smother with an organic tomato sauce.
Put it in the oven and bake covered with foil for 45 min at 375. Then remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15-30 minutes until it’s bubbly the edges are a bit crisp.
Serve and enjoy!!
- 8-10 swiss chard leaves
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used basmati)
- 1 pound of pastured pork or grass fed beef
- 4 garlic scapes or 2 cloves of garlic diced
- I medium red onion diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 Tsp paprika
- 1 Tsp oregano
- 1 Tsp sea salt
- 1 Tsp chili powder
- 1/2 Tsp basil
- 3 Cups organic tomato sauce
- Soak swiss chard leaves in hot water for 15-20 minutes
- Cook the rice
- Saute the garlic scapes (or garlic), onion, and carrots in the coconut oil in a frying pan
- Add the cooked rice, all the spices and the sauted vegetable mixture to the meat in a bowl and mix together.
- Add the egg to this meat mixture and mix some more until well blended
- Place a scoop of the meat mixture on the wide edge of a swiss chard leaf and roll it up
- Continue rolling until you use all your swiss chard leaves
- Spread any remaining meat mixture over the top of your rolls and cover with tomato sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for a further 15-30 minutes until it is bubbly and the edges are a bit crisp.
- Serve and Enjoy!
- It really is delicious. For real :)