Weeks 4-5 of our CSA Program brought big bunches of swiss chard to our Premium CSA Share boxes. The vibrant stems of the swiss chard really make this leafy green stand out. Sauteing is a great option for swiss chard, it makes a nice side dish. If you have a little extra time for a summer meal or appetizer, try swiss chard rolls. Similar to a dolma, these rolls contain a simple quinoa salad and are dipped in a yogurt sauce flavored with capers and lemon. If you have a tangy cheese on hand like feta or goat, crumble some into the salad before wrapping up.
I included the swiss chard stems in the salad, I like to cube them by splitting them down the middle and then dicing. I gave them a quick sauté with olive oil and sea salt and then added them to the salad. This week’s share including nice bunches of scallions and parsley, and throughout the season different herbs like dill, basil, or cilantro would also be great. The contrast of the red quinoa and leafy greens is great, but feel free to use the lighter variety if that’s all you have. When the salad is ready blanch the chard leaves. Dip them into boiling water for a minute, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. This step helps stop the cooking, and also cools the leaves so they are easy to handle.
While the leaves are cooling, whisk together the sauce ingredients. If you prefer a thicker sauce try greek yogurt.
Carefully remove the leaves from the water and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Lay one leaf flat, and remove or shave down the thick end of the stem. Roll 1/4 cup of quinoa salad up in the leaf, more or less depending on the leaf size. Continue for remaining leaves. You may have quinoa leftover, enjoy the leftovers as a salad.
Swiss Chard Rolls with Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce
12 -14 Swiss Chard Leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup diced swiss chard stems
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt, whole milk or greek style
2 tablespoons roughly chopped capers
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt + pepper to taste
Cook quinoa. Bring 1 cup of quinoa, 2 cups water, and pinch of salt to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes until water is absorbed. While the quinoa is cooking, sauté the chard stems for about 4 minutes in olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl, let cool, then add parsley, scallions, chard stems, lemon juice, and olive oil to the bowl. Mix together, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Blanch chard leaves. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon sea salt to a boil. Add chard leaves and cook for one minute. Remove chard from water with tongs and transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Gently remove leaves and pat dry.
Mix together sauce ingredients.
Assemble rolls. Lay one chard leaf flat with the stem end side up. If the stem end is still thick remove or shave down with a knife. Roll 1/4 cup (more or less depending on size of leaf) in each chard leaf. Serve chilled with lemon yogurt caper sauce.
Variations. Sub lime and cilantro in sauce for lemon and capers, sub cilantro for parsley in quinoa and add 1/2 cup corn kernels and/or black beans. Crumble 4 oz of goat cheese or feta into salad. Add pine nuts and/or currants to salad. Vegan variation: sub vegan mayonnaise for yogurt in sauce.