California Stuffed Chard
Bright chard leaves make perfect wrappers for this handsome entrée, which is halfway between stuffed grape leaves and stuffed cabbage but lighter than either dish. One of my all-time favorite recipes.
1/4 pounds ground veal or turkey
1/4 pound lean ground pork
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup parsley
1 teaspoon each chopped fresh
(or 1/2 tsp. dried) oregano and thyme
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
15 chard leaves, stems removed and reserved
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons good, fruity olive oil
Fresh yogurt or sour cream
Mix the meat filling ingredients together until well combined and set aside.
Immerse the chard leaves, 4 or 5 at a time, in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes or until limp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. Repeat with all the leaves and drain. Discard the water.
Lay chard leaves out flat. Mound several rounded tablespoons of the reserved meat filling on the center of each leaf. Fold sides of leaf over center, then fold top and bottom down. Roll each leaf into a compact bundle. (Can be made ahead until this point.)
Finely chop reserved chard stems. In a large heavy pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onions and chard stems for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Lay chard bundles on top of the sautéed vegetables, add chicken stock and sprinkle with lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil over the bundles. Simmer over low heat until filling is done - about 35 minutes. Garnish savory chard bundles with fresh yogurt or sour cream to top the bundles. Serves 6 to 8.
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