Recipe: Swiss Chard Wraps Stuffed with Mediterranean Bulgur Salad
(Recipe by Victoria Challancin)
In an effort to use the beautiful and readily available organic chard available to us in San Miguel, I tweaked my basic tabbouleh recipe, using Middle Eastern spices, to make a healthy filling for a cold chard wrap. This recipe is flexible. Use any dark, leafy green you prefer and fill with a grain or rice stuffing of choice.
For the Swiss chard:
1 bunch Swiss chard, preferable “Bright Lights”—either red or yellow variety, cut out the thickest part of stem (about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the leaf and save for another use)
For the salad:
1 1/4 cups fine or medium bulgur
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (use both white and green parts)
1 1/2 cups packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves, finely minced
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely minced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
For the chard: Pour water to the depth of one inch in a large skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the water is barely simmering. Blanch the chard leaves one by one for about 30 to 45 seconds. To retain the vibrant green color, shock the blanched leaves in a bowl of water with ice. Drain, stack, and blot dry the opened leaves. Place on a plate to cool.
For the salad: In a bowl combine bulgur and water. Soak bulgur for a minimum of one hour.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix salt, pepper, allspice, and cinnamon. Add sliced onions and allow to macerate for 30 minutes.
Drain any excess water from the soaked bulgur and return to bowl. Add parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper. Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl and pour over the salad. Add the onion mixture and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Note: Bulgur may be prepared 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
The actual salad may be assembled 1 hour ahead of serving and chilled, covered.
To prepare the wraps: Place the blanched chard leaves on a cutting board. Place approximately 1/4 cup of bulgur salad on each leaf. Roll, folding the edges over the filling, into neat packets. Serve with Chickpea Raita.
(I used the recipe from Mark Bittman from The New York Times, August 2008)