Rainbow Chard Wraps
These stuffed chard leaves are so easy to make and hold together really well. You can assemble and cook them in advance and they're good to eat either hot, warm or straight-from-the-fridge cold, like a veggie sushi.
The leaves are quickly blanched to make them more pliable and keep their bright green colour even after cooking.
I stuffed these with a mixture of cooked brown basmati rice, toasted pine nuts, sultanas, chopped fresh herbs, lemon and orange zest and flavoured the rice with turmeric and sumac which gave them a Middle Eastern vibe.
If you eat cheese, they'd also taste great with some crumbled goats cheese or Feta added into the rice mixture and if you wanted to serve them hot with a sauce, try gently simmering them in a rich tomato sauce.
I ate mine fridge-cold and cut in half, with a dab of wasabi and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce..
To make the filling: cover the walnuts with water and soak for 6-8 hours (I normally do this with walnuts as I find it reduces their bitterness but feel free to skip this step!), then drain and dry on kitchen paper before lightly toasting in a hot dry frying pan. Toast the pine nuts in the same way then finely chop both nuts when cool enough to handle.
Cook the basmati rice using your preferred method then drain and place in a large bowl. Finely chop the sultanas and herbs and add to rice along with the chopped nuts, the juice and zest of the lemon and orange. Stir to mix everything together.
Finely chop the onion add to a sauté pan with the butter, olive oil, maple syrup and spices. Sauté until golden and caramelised and season to taste. Add to the rice mixture and stir together.
To prepare the chard leaves: remove the ribs (stems) from the chard and very finely chop. Add the raw chopped stems to the rice mixture or sauté briefly to soften.
Briefly blanch the leaves in a pan of just off the boil water, for 2-3 minutes or until soft and pliable being be careful not to leave them too long or they may start to disintegrate. Drain the leaves on layers of kitchen paper to absorb most of the moisture.
To make the wraps: lay a chard leaf flat on a board or work surface and if the leaves aren't that large or have a tear in them then just overlap another leaf so you have a nice hand-size area (without any gaps or holes) to place the filling.
Place a table spoon of the rice mixture in the middle of leaf and wrap up as you would a burrito - i.e. fold over the shortest edge, then fold over the sides and gently but tightly roll up to form a neat-ish shape. The wraps should hold together well but secure them with a cocktail stick if you feel it necessary.
As everything is already cooked you can eat the wraps straight away or re-heat them if you prefer them hot (you can steam them or pop them into the microwave for a short burst or simmer them in a sauce). Please note: when reheating rice observe the food safety rules of reheating it only once and ensuring it's 'steaming hot' when you do.
Alternatively, store the wraps in the fridge and eat within 24 hours. Any left over rice mixture could be eaten the next day (use for a pilaf, to stuff vegetables, make arancini etc.) or cool it quickly and store in the freezer for up to a month.
I hope you enjoy! x
Large bunch of fresh chard
150g brown basmati rice
100g pine nuts
1 large red onion
Handful fresh herbs (I used parsley,
oregano, rosemary, thyme and Summer savoury)
1-2 tsps maple syrup or agave nectar
Large pinch of sumac and ground turmeric
A knob of butter
2-3 tsps olive oil