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Stuffed Swiss Chard with Tomato Sauce, (the recipe called them Love Bites). WSJ Saturday Edition, May 18, 2019.

Stuffed Swiss Chard with Tomato Sauce

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 /12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions (medium onion)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 24 – 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of water

For the filling and assembly of the Swiss Chard Rolls

8 ounces – one package of Baby Portabella mushrooms or called Cremini mushrooms

7 tablespoons of grapeseed oil or light tasting olive oil. I did not use this much oil. It is for the final stages and I used less.

Kosher salt

2 cups finely chopped onions (1 large onion)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped sage

1/4 cup mushroom stock or vegetable stock

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan.You can omit this if allergic. It helps keep the filling together and taste.

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 roasted finely chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

1 egg yolk beaten. Recipe called for a whole egg, on my allergy test I stay away from egg whites – omitted.

2 medium bunches of Swiss Chard.

Start by cooking 1 cup of brown rice with two cups of water. Bring the water and rice to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and put on a lid on the pot. Rice usually takes 20 minutes to cook. Check and turn off heat when soft and the water is absorbed.

Making the tomato sauce: Heat oil in a medium to large sauce pot over medium heat. Add onions, and season with salt stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 5 – 7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes at the most. Sir in crushed tomatoes. Add water to the can and swirl to get the remaining tomato sauce, add to pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Salt to taste and remove from heat.

Making the filling: While stirring the tomatoes preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms and 2 tablespoons oil.  Season with salt and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until softened and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Once cool enough to touch finely chop and put in a bowl with any liquid.

While the oven is baking the mushrooms put the red bell pepper on a burner and rotate until all the skin is charred.  If you do not have a gas stove you can buy roasted red bell peppers in a jar. The recipe called for a 1/4 cup but I like red bell peppers and used a whole one. Place in a paper bag and let set for 10 minutes to allow the built up heat to cook through the pepper.

Once cool; wash off shin, core, remove seeds and finely chop.

In a large high walled skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat.  Add onions, season with salt and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 – 7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until light golden brown, about 1 – 2 minutes.  Stir in sage, brown rice, mushroom/vegetable stock and any reserved mushroom liquid.  Stir under heat for 2 minutes, remove and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine chopped mushrooms, cooked onion/rice mixture, Parmesan, black pepper, roasted peppers, vinegar and beaten egg.  Season with salt to taste.

Preparing the Swiss Chard: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have a large bowl full of very cold water or add ice on the side. We are going to boil the chard leaf to 1-2 minutes to soften and then immediately stop the cooking process with cold water. As soon as the leaf becomes bright green remove from the boiling water and immerse in the cold water (tongues) placing on a plate.

Assembly: Lay a few paper towels on a clean work surface. I used a large plate. One leaf at a time add 3 tablespoons of filling and fold side in on each other, we want the filling to be completely enclosed. You can use a paring knife to remove thick ribs to make the leaf lay more flat, I found this was not necessary if I used the top half of the leaf. In a garden you can control the size of the Chard. In the grocery the leaves are rather large.

In a large cast iron skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, lay in chard rolls. Sear, turning once, the goal is to lightly brown each side. This can take 10 to 12 minutes.

Top with grated Parmesan and serve alongside tomato sauce.

The WSJ credits Desiree Tuttle of Achilles Hee, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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