Friday, August 29, 2014

Stuffed Swiss Chard redux

Swiss chard is one of my favorite vegetables -- and the "queen of greens" has been prolific in gardens this year. It's easy to grow and easy to find in farmer's markets and in supermarkets too. Over the years, I've posted many swiss chard recipes, including two other stuffed renditions -- one stuffed with ground turkey (here) and one stuffed with brown rice and ground beef (here). This time, however, I wanted to use up some fregola (similar to Israeli couscous) in the pantry.
I mixed it with some ground beef, minced red pepper, onion, an egg, mozzarella cheese and seasonings.
In order to stuff the swiss chard, you need to remove the stalk (don't throw them out, there's another recipe coming at the end for those stalks).

Boil the leaves for a couple of minutes to soften them, then drain them on paper towels.
Place about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the filling over the leaves and roll up.
They're easy to freeze at this point, or cook right away, covered with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. If you really want to gild the lily, sprinkle with more mozzarella.

Wait a few minutes after they come out of the oven, since they're piping hot. 
OK, so now what to do with those swiss chard stalks? Well, I've given you a couple of different recipes in the past for fritters - here and here. But this time, it's a swiss chard stalk gratin, and it's simple to put together. First, chop the stalks into large pieces and boil for five minutes or until tender.
Then place in a casserole that's been oiled, and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, a scattering of thyme and a pat of butter.

 Bake at high temperature for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour or until browned.
 It's like having a whole new vegetable.

Stuffed Swiss Chard

1 cup fregola, cooked in water according to package, then cooled
1/4 cup onion, minced
4 T. olive oil
1/4 cup diced red pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
1 pound ground beef
minced parsley
salt, pepper to taste

tomato sauce
parmesan cheese

Sauté the onion and red pepper in 2 T. of the olive oil until softened. Remove and set aside in a bowl. With the remaining olive oil, cook the ground beef in a skillet. Drain off any fat. Place the meat in a bowl with the cooked onion and pepper. Add the parsley, salt and pepper, and egg. Mix together and place a little of the mixture on a leaf of the swiss chard. Roll up and place in a greased, ovenproof casserole. Cover with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Swiss Chalk Stalk Gratin

swiss chalk stalks
parmesan cheese
bread crumbs
fresh thyme
salt, pepper to taste

Boil the swiss chard stalks for five minutes, or until softened. Drain and place in a greased, oven-proof casserole. Mix 2 parts parmesan cheese to one part bread crumbs. Season with fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the swiss chard stalks and top with a pat of butter. Place in a 425 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.


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11 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Healthy and enjoyable! A great dish.

Cheers,

Rosa

Stacey Snacks said...

What a great idea. Last year I had no idea what to do with all the rainbow chard, so this year, we didn't grow it.

I love stuffed cabbage w/ meat and rice, and this looks and sounds even better!

Have a great weekend!

AdriBarr said...

What a beautiful dish, and what a great idea to stuff the large chard leaves. Given their size, it is a perfect thing to do. I never thought of it. Also I applaud you, O Thrifty Lass. I always say I am going to find a use for the tough stalks, but somehow I never do. So kudos to you for showing us a smart way to use them. Brava!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Linda my chard is still growing so nice and green, as a matter of fact that and my kale is all that is left of my garden. I love this idea, can't wait to make it!

Ely said...

Really delicious, tasty and good!!! Congratulations dear! A big big kiss <3

Chiara Giglio said...

Un'idea magnifica e originale Linda, complimenti ! Buon weekend cara, un abbraccio !

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love swiss chard and grew up eating it from my parents' garden but I haven't had good luck with growing it here - probably because the rabbits like it too much.

What a terrific way to enjoy it! Love the stem and veins idea too.

bellini said...

I have been looking for this recipe for years to use the fregola I purchased when I was in Seattle. I saw one beautiful Swiss chard when I was at the market.

Claudia said...

I have way too much kale and not enough Swiss chard. Note to self for next year. I will be doing the ground turkey version this week - nice reminder. Love the stems gratin.

Frank Fariello said...

Great idea! I usually think about greens on the inside and pasta on the outside. You've turned it around!

By the way, I recently saw chard (which I love) mentioned as a superfood on par with kale (which I hate). That's great news, no?

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What wonderful recipes! I also love Swiss Chard and buy it weekly. I never thought to stuff the leaves and using fregola is genius. The stem recipe also sounds good --you are a true Italian who wastes nothing, Linda.