It’s full blown spring here in Northern California – verging on summer. Warm, sunny days, and the garden is starting to go crazy. If you’re in this part of the world, or have a climate like this, you’ve probably noticed that your swiss chard and arugula are also loving this weather. Might as well put them to good use! And if you don’t have a garden or your veggies aren’t coming up yet, both swiss chard and arugula are usually pretty easy to get your hands on at your local market.
This is a wonderful combination of flavors – and it feels like a solid meal without all the pasta and guilt. This food makes you feel good. And it’s easy to make.
Now go ahead and get your chard on.
From Giada De Laurentiis
- Butter, for greasing the baking dish
- 6 large Swiss chard leaves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
- 1 packed cup baby arugula leaves, chopped
- 1 cup goat cheese, at room temperature (8 ounces)
- 1 cup cooked green lentils
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- One 26-ounce jar marinara or tomato-basil sauce
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or unsalted butter diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. While the water is heating up, remove the thick stem from the center of each chard leaf. Cut each leaf in half lengthwise. Trim the ends from the leaves to make each leaf-half about 7 inches long and 5 inches wide. Add the chard leaves and cook for 10 seconds. Remove the leaves and rinse with cold water. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the brown rice, arugula, goat cheese, lentils, mint, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and garlic. Season with additional salt and pepper.
- Spoon 1/3 cup of the filling onto the end of each chard leaf and roll up like a jellyroll.
- Spoon 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the rolls, seam-side down, in a single layer on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil or dot the top with butter, if using, and bake until the cheese begins to brown and the rolls are heated through, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.