Swiss Chard: Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Lentils

Posted by Megan Terzian on Dec 02, 2011
Filed: Side Dish
Tagged: chard Italian marinara

In a sea of leafy wintery greens, rainbow chard sings with its vibrant red and yellow stalks. It's captivating, really.

But it's still a leafy wintery green, and while its tasty when sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic, there are far greater uses for leaves. Like wrapping them around fresh mint and basil, goat cheese, lentils and brown rice. And drowning them in a savory tomato sauce.

A couple of notes: Swish chard works just as well as rainbow for this recipe. And if you're making this for a holiday dinner, the recipe can be prepared ahead of time and assembled right before you bake.

Chard Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Lentils

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
  • 8-10 large Swiss chard leaves (roughly 2 bunches)
  • 2 Tbsps. kosher salt, plus 1 tsp. for the stuffing
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup (packed) spinach leaves, chopped
  • 8 oz. goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cooked green lentils
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 26-ounce jar marinara or tomato-basil sauce
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch glass baking dish and set aside.

Cut the stem from the center of each chard leaf, and cut each leaf in half lengthwise (you'll get four wraps per leaf, depending on size). Trim the ends from the leaves to create a straight edge. Use 2 Tbsps. of the kosher salt to salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chard and cook for 10 seconds; remove and rinse in cold water to stop them from cooking further. Roll out the leaves and drain on paper towels.

In a medium bowl, combine the brown rice, spinach, goat cheese, lentils, mint, olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and garlic. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the filling onto the end of each chard leaf and roll up like a jellyroll.

Spread about a cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the buttered baking pan. Line the rolls, seam-side down, across the pan, in a single layer. Spoon the rest of the sauce on top and cover with the Parmesan. Dot with butter and bake until the cheese begins to brown and the rolls are heated throughout (about 25 minutes). Allow the rolls to cool for 5 minutes before serving!