Monday, October 10, 2011

Swiss Chard Roll- Ups. Don't Judge!!

I was on an airplane watching Food Network shows when Giada's came on and she made this lovely vegetarian dish that had me glued with attention. Goat cheese?? Lentils? Arugula? Big leafy greens? All wrapped up together somehow and smothered to death in marinara and Parmesan cheese?? This might be as close to my definition of a perfect dish as possible. I couldn't think of anything else for hours after seeing it.

Though experience from making it taught me that you wholly and entirely MUST know your audience before serving it. My sweet husband, who eats everything like it's his favorite food, later told me quite gently that of all the things I've made, this was one of his least favorite. Of course, he isn't partial towards goat cheese and lentils, which happen to be two of my favorite foods ever.
So, if you have friends over for dinner who you know are strict vegetarians, then fly with it! If you are having family over that tend to follow a meat and potatoes kind of trend, I'd steer clear. If you don't like lentils or abhor the taste of goat cheese, this may not be your dish. Of course, having that said, it's also highly versatile and you can use the recipe as a guide but create a different filling.

This recipe posted below is a spin- off of what Giada did on her show. I couldn't find the recipe anywhere on line, so this is my memory doing it's best to recall what went in and what I did personally. I think it worked out splendidly. Ooooh it's soooooo good and heart-warming and healthy. I LUVVVVVVVV eeet.

Swiss Chard Rolls with Lentils and Goat Cheese

{Inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis}

1 large bunch swiss chard

1 cup brown rice, cooked and set aside- add 1 huge handful of arugula to the rice while it’s still warm.

1 cup lentils, cooked and set aside

4-5 ounces, goat cheese, crumbled

1 huge handful of baby arugula (see the instructions above for how to incorporate it)

1 tsp herbs de provence

½ tsp crushed red pepper

1 tsp salt


Olive oil

Favorite marinara sauce

Parmesan cheese

Prepare the swiss chard first: you will need a large pot of simmering water. Wash and dry the Swiss chard. Using a large chef’s knife, cut out the stiff stem that is in the middle of each leaf, all while trying NOT to cut the leaf in half (yes, the leaf will have a large sliver cut out of the middle). Using kitchen tongs, place each prepared leaf into the simmering water for LESS THAN A SECOND. You will literally dip it in, and remove it immediately onto a dry paper towel. If you have them in the water for much longer, they will be soggy. You are simply trying to barely soften the leaf so you can wrap it easier.

Once all the leaves have been dipped in the hot water, pat each one off gently with a paper towel. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rice and arugula with the lentils, goat cheese, salt, herbs de Provence, a drizzle of olive oil, and crushed red pepper. Taste it to make sure it has enough flavoring- add more seasonings if needed.

Preheat oven to 350.

Take one Swiss chard leaf and lay it flat on the counter, overlapping the leaves were the stiff stem was taken out. Tag a normal dinner spoon, place a heapful of mixture into each Swiss chard leaf. Very gingerly, wrap up each leaf and place in baking dish. Continue until all the leaves are used up.

Pour as much marinara sauce over the wraps as you wish. Sprinkle the surface with lots of shredded Parm. Cheese and then drizzle lightly with olive oil to keep it moist. Bake for 25-35 minutes until everything is bubbly hot.


Emily said...

Kate . . . my hubby deals with the same thing! Your Chris is in my Chris' shoes too . . . but how awesome is it to have great hubbies who eat our creations no matter what we put in front of them! . . . I love your creations!

Emily said...

Kate I love this! My Chris is in the same boat as yours . . but how awesome is it to have hubbies who happily eat or creations! Lucky girls! . . . I love goat cheese too . . .