Try these instead of stuffed grape leaves for your next party with hors d'oeuvres (cut in half). Stuffed chard is a popular dish in Israel.
Serve as a main course with a crisp green salad.
Make Ahead: The filling can be made a day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.
- For the chard and stuffing
- 2 bunches Swiss chard, preferably with small, whole leaves, rinsed well (about 1 3/4 pounds total)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely ground bulgur
- 12 ounces lean ground beef
- 1/2 medium or 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- For the sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pot
- Swiss chard stems, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1 or 2 lemons (1/3 cup)
- Kosher salt
For the chard and stuffing: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. One by one, hold each bunch of chard upside down by the stems and plunge the leaves into the water for 5 seconds. Transfer to a colander. When cool enough to handle, cut off the stems below the leaves and coarsely chop to yield 1 cup; reserve them for the sauce. (If the stem that's still attached to the leaf is very thick, use a knife to flatten it. If the leaves are large, you can cut them in half crosswise, but it is okay to prepare large stuffed leaves; they will still cook well.)
Place the bulgur in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add the beef, tomato, parsley, salt and pepper to the bowl; use your clean hands to mix well and form the stuffing.
For the sauce: Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped chard stems, onion and garlic; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the stems have softened. Add the sugar and cook for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve, then add the broth and lemon juice. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add salt to taste.
Use a little oil to grease the bottom of a medium Dutch oven or 10-inch skillet; it should be large enough to hold the stuffed leaves in a single layer.
To assemble the rolls, work with 3 or 4 leaves at a time. Lay them flat on a cutting board with the veined side up and tapered ends pointing away from you. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the stuffing (depending on the size of the leaf) at the leaf end that's closest to you. Roll over once, then fold in the sides and roll to complete the package (without making the roll too tight). Repeat to use all of the leaves; you might have a little stuffing left over, which could be placed in the pot or reserved for another use.
Arrange the rolls in the Dutch oven or skillet. Pour the sauce evenly over the top. Cover and place over medium-high heat and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until the stuffing is cooked through; you might need to make a shallow cut in one roll to judge doneness.
From Chevy Chase caterer Vered Guttman.
Tested by Doris Truong.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.