Recipe: Stuffed Chard Rolls

Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Dietitian at Nourish Northwest

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This is the time of year when I start to get local produce fatigue. Spring is technically here, but we will not see the results from the farms for weeks or months to come. April and May are the in between time when I patiently wait for local spring greens, strawberries and cherries. Winter squash is not really in season anymore (though it feels like winter), and even if I could find it, I’m usually so sick of roasted squash by now.

Blanched, softened and ready to roll.
Blanched, softened and ready to roll.

So, this is the perfect time to get creative with what we have. Hearty greens are a vegetable that we can rely on year round. Chard (Swiss, rainbow, red) has been looking great lately. The standard treatment is to either sauté it with garlic or toss it into soup. I love it for its spinach-like flavor, hearty bite and nutrient density. I was inspired by our new Asian Fusion cooking class to make a wrap or roll out of chard leaves instead of rice paper. I made them vegan, but they reminded me of a stuffed cabbage dish my mom used to make. You know, the one with a rice and meat mixture, smothered in tomato sauce.


Chard > Tortilla
Chard > Tortilla

I made the filling the night before and just warmed the rolls in the oven before serving. They were a big hit, even with my two year old!

Stuffed Chard Rolls 
Makes 12 rolls; serves 3-4
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, grated with a Microplane (store in freezer to preserve freshness)
1 cup organic brown and wild rice medley
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ cups finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 cup ¼-inch cubes peeled carrots (about 3 small)
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3  cup golden raisins
6 ounces extra-firm tofu (½ of one 12-ounce package), drained, patted dry, cut into ½-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup organic coconut milk
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
12 large Swiss or Red Chard leaves (from about 2 to 3 bunches)
1/2 jar tomato basil marinara sauce


Combine rice medley, 2 cups of water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until the rice is just tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the skillet and sauté until the vegetables are tender and onion is golden, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and grated ginger and stir for 1 minute.

Add the raisins, then tofu cubes, cumin, and turmeric and stir gently to coat with the spices.

Pour in the coconut milk and simmer just until the coconut milk is reduced and coats the vegetable mixture thickly, about 1 minute. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste if desired. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the chard leaves.

Using tongs and working with 1 leaf half at a time, dip the leaf into the pot of boiling salted water for 10 seconds, then transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool, use a sharp knife to cut the thick stem away from the leaf, leaving 3 inches at the top intact. It will look like a “V” cut away.

Place a chard leaf on a work surface and place 1/3 cup rice filling onto the top (with thin stem intact) end of the leaf. Fold the sides of the leaves up over the filling, then roll up the leaf, enclosing the filling completely (like a burrito). Repeat with the remaining 12 Leaves.

Place rolls in prepared dish and top with marinara sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until warmed through. Serve and enjoy!

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