Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegan Chard Rolls

When I was in Chicago in February to co-teach a pelvic floor teacher training with my mentor Leslie Howard, I had the pleasure of going out to tapas with blogger and fellow teacher Brooks Hall and a few other pelvic floor compatriots. My foodie experience of Chicago was amazing. Everything I ate there was simply delicious. Mmm...Chicago....what was I saying?

Oh yes. So while there I had the pleasure of sampling these little beauties and finally, yesterday, I made them. They almost remind me of a dolma, but are closer in nature to a cabbage roll. A little time consuming, but well worth the effort, as I watched my kids down a couple rolls each with nod of approval, and marveled that I actually get my family to eat this stuff. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining!

10 large Chard leaves, stems cut off
1 pot of boiling water
1 cup Jasmine rice
1 cup water
1 can stewed tomatoes
4 tbsp chopped, roasted red peppers (I have a jar of these on hand at all times)
salt and pepper

First, combine your rice, 1 cup of water, tomatoes, peppers and salt and pepper to taste, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let sit another 10 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Remove cover and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, blanch your chard leaves, one at a time, in boiling water for about 30 seconds each. Remove with tongs and let cool on a rack.

On a cutting board, slice out the thick part of the main vein in the leaf, nearly to the top,  like this:

Then overlap the edges of the leaf. With your hands, shape the cooled rice into a small rectangle and place on the chard leaf.  I found it helped to put it nearer the base.

Fold the base over the top of the rice, tucking in the sides as you go, and roll, burrito-style, all the way to the top. Place on plate seam-side down. Serve at room temperature (whick is what I did) or you can steam them, or cook in a dish with more tomato sauce.

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