It’s the end of our Winter CSA, but we still have lots of veggies to use!
It is the end of our winter CSA, so I stocked up on a few favorites to tide us over until the farm stands open and the season begins anew with radishes and lettuces from our fields, plus a few wild offerings from our forests. Fiddleheads will appear any moment, wild garlic, stinging nettles, and perhaps a morel mushroom or two!
But for this moment, there are winter roots and greens that still keep us on track to eat as local as possible. Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens. It is reliable here in the northeast, cut and come again all season, and it often lasts well into December in the garden with just a little protection and a scare tactic or two to keep the deer from munching it down. Full of vitamins, one feels virtuous just thinking about cooking with this beautiful dark, leafy green. As nutritious as kale, I think it tastes even better!
Just a 35-calorie cup has twice the Vitamin A you need in a day, half your Vitamin C, seven times what you need in Vitamin K, and a good amount of Vitamin E as well. It is also a good source of potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, and calcium. Seven carbs, four grams of fiber, and a whole host of phytonutrients make this vegetable a powerhouse of nutrition, in many categories, more nutrition than kale. It is even suggested to help reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, and to strengthen bones.
So many colors!
This beautiful green also comes in a rainbow of colors which boost the mineral levels. I often plant a rainbow mix in my garden, with my personal favorite the deeply colored ruby red ribbed.
I love chard cooked in many ways, but the simplest is just a quick steam to barely wilt the greens. A little salt and pepper, a splash of vinegar (my mom always spritzed her greens with vinegar), and that’s all you need. But chard also holds its own in a soup or stew.
The leaves are so pretty, they beg to be stuffed! This recipe is extremely flavorful, and can stand on its own with a side salad for lunch, or serve as the side dish to a protein, although she will probably steal the show!
Use what you have or love
While you can stuff these with just about any vegetable you have on hand, I chose rutabaga as the base because that’s what I had from my local farm. Also packed with nutrition and flavor, its pretty orange looked lovely with the vibrant chard, with a little watermelon radish salad on the side for nutrition, crunch, and more visual interest. You could also use mashed carrots or parsnips, or even white or sweet potatoes.
I used a local goat cheese this time around, but I’ve also used vegan cream cheese quite successfully here if you want to keep it dairy free. The roasted red peppers were from my pantry, but if you have fresh, just char them yourself, peel, and enjoy. Pesto from the freezer, and goat cheese from our local cheese vendor.
I added hot sauce for a little zing, my favorite Cholula Chili Lime which is filled with beautiful flavor. Of course, finish with a spritz of balsamic or cider vinegar!
Stuffed Swiss Chard
- 5 or 6 large Swiss Chard leaves (I had five)
- 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped
- A few splashes of hot sauce
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 4-oz. log local goat cheese, or vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tbsp. pesto
- 2 roasted red peppers, cut in strips
- Salt and pepper
- Balsamic vinegars sea salt to garnish
Remove the toughest ribs of the chard, about halfway up the leaf. Reserve these for another use. Steam the leaves just for a minute or so until limp. Place on parchment paper or a kitchen towel to drain and cool.
Prepare the rutabaga and steam or boil until soft. Mash with the butter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add hot sauce to your liking. Cover and keep warm.
Mash the goat cheese or cream cheese with the pesto. It should be fairly soft.
Take a chard leaf and gently spread some of the goat cheese mixture in the middle. Top with the mashed rutabaga, and arrange a layer of the pepper strips on top of this. Season lightly, then wrap it up like a burrito. Fold the edge closest to you over the mound, then each side, and finally the last side, forming a sort of square parcel. Continue with the rest, dividing what you have for mixtures among your leaves.
Heat a large, non-stick skillet or iron frying pan over medium high. Once hot, add a little olive oil and place the smooth side of the packets in the pan for a quick sear. This also helps there cheese to melt. Turn once, then plate.
Garnish with a little vinegar, then add a last dress of sea salt.
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Really superb Dorothy! Looks healthy and delicious. I have done the same with grape leaves. So delicious and healthy too!🍂🍮🍮🍂💓
Grape leaves are divine. I make little coins of goat cheese wrapped in a grape leaf and grilled. Smoky and delicious!
I don’t remember you sharing…
I didn’t! Perhaps I’ll write it down this year when my yard is invaded with grapevines and I need a little weeder’s revenge!
What a wonderful and plentiful invasion! Grape leaves are not a known to be used for American recipes as much as they are in Middle Eastern dishes.
They wind their way around the whole world!
Delicious. Love such colorful and nutrition vegetable combination. 🙂
Thank you! I love eating color, especially great tasting color. The hot sauce and the pesto make this really sing!
I love chard, and this looks delicious and pretty! Off to pick up some now and try this.
To my knowledge I’ve never eaten chard. This isn’t some kind of principled stand against the stuff, just that I’ve never seen it for sale. I kind of go straight to spinach to the exclusion of other dark leafy greens.
Give the chard a try, especially if you find the beautiful rainbow colored ones. I was like that about collards. Being a northerner, collards were not on our menu rotation, and when I lived in the south, I only had them cooked for about a hundred hours with pork, and they didn’t look very appetizing. But our local farmers have been growing them for some time, and once I tried fresh ones that I didn’t cook the life out of, I loved them!
This looks so delicious!!! My husband grows Swiss chard for me in our garden every year. I loved the look of the rainbow when he grew it. I have only eaten it like spinach, cooked and with vinegar. Thank you for this recipe!
Thank you Diane. I love it just about any way, but this dish was not only tasty, but fun to make as well!
Like you, Dorothy I love eating my colours this looks and sounds so simple but delicious 🙂 x
Thank you Carol! They really were delicious, and tasted great reheated the next night as well.
I have only cooked Swiss chard a few times, it is a beautiful vegetable, I’m not doing it justice! I love the idea of stuffing it, will try, thanks Dorothy!
Thank you Jenna, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this beautiful vegetable as much as we do.
Dorothy, this is a very clever recipe. It looks very tasty and I like the idea of there being no meat involved.
Thank you so much Bernadette! It’s a great veggie option, and fun to make.
Dorothy… is that Henri Quimper??? 💕
Oui! My favorites! I inherited a few pieces, and have added to the inventory over the years.
I can’t part with any of my flea market finds. I just can’t. 👀🍃💕
Neither can I! They are the little treasures that find their way to our homes over time and bring a smile to the face.
Well said. 💫
What a beautiful no-meat meal! Thank you for such a great idea. I love chard but haven’t come up with interesting ways to use it. And I’m drooling over your comment about “goat cheese coins wrapped in grape leaves.” Holy moly.
Thanks Terrie! I love the little goat cheese parcels, and I’ll try to remember to blog the recipe when I make them again. They are so simple, and everyone loves them, even folks who think they don’t like goat cheese!
This sounds and looks fabulous!
Thank you! It was a hit!
Love the idea of stuffing chard leaves. This dish looks delicious.
Thank you Jovina! It was really good, and just as good reheated the next day for lunch!
Hi sis, boy Iamgoing to try this recipe cause one of my favorite greens is swisschard, and one of my favorite vegetables is rutabaga, especially if not is mashed up with carrots. I love the combination.
You’ll love this! Always think about how much Mom loved Swiss chard in the garden.
I meant to type if the rutabaga is mashed up with carrots. I don’t know how the not got in there!! lol
yeah, I figured it out.
Wow—this looks delicious! I’m a big fan of pesto and roasted red peppers, so this is my kind of food! 🙂
It was so good! And everyone loved it as well.
Once again, your inventiveness knocks me out. I much prefer chard to kale.
Thank you Angela! I think you’d really enjoy this one if you prefer chard. Plus, it is fun to make!
Brilliant. I have never thought of stuffing it. I just stopped buying it because I only thought to sautee it and that got tiring! YAY a new way to eat it! Thanks!
I hope you enjoy it! Chard is so good for us, it’s fun to experiment with. I also like it chopped up and added to soups at the end of cooking.
I chop it up and add it to ground turkey. I put any veggie we have in the fridge in a pan of ground turkey and call it dinner. 🙂
A good plan!
Okay, Dorothy, I’m on this one!
We have chard growing and we both know they need a little ‘sprucing up’ to be really enjoyed (steaming only can be so boring). Here goes….
Wow stuffed swiss chard. Great recipe. Looks healthy and delicious
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