Pandemic Gourmet: Magic with Greens
“We have nothing to eat,” I say.
“Oh no, not this again,” my daughter Joanna replies. “Just go sit down.”
A half hour later, she’s done it again: a magical dish appears.
I wish I could tell you that the chard she used came straight from our Victory Garden. Alas, our chard isn’t yet big enough for rolling anything more than a grain of millet. Patience, Janice.
Joanna used chard because that’s what we had. Cabbage, of course, would be perfect. Or lacatino (non-curly) kale. Or collard greens. They’re all fabulously healthy and rollable. You get the point.
Oh, one more thing: the “rollatini” part of the name of the recipe is something I threw in just to make it sound fancy. “Rollatini” is a term usually applied to eggplant or chicken or something that’s stuffed with cheese and whatnot and then rolled up and baked. But since rollatini isn’t even an Italian word, I feel entitled to take liberties.
Swiss Chard Rollatini
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup currants (or raisins if you’re desperate)
- 1 cup millet (or brown rice, but then increase the amount of water and cooking time)
- 1 bunch chard
- 3 cups water
- zest & juice of one lime (or lemon, if that’s what you have on hand)
- 3 Tbsp finely-chopped fresh mint
- In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pine nuts until they’re fragrant and light brown. Add the olive oil, onions, and salt.
- Cook until the onions soften and caramelize a little, and then add the millet, currants, and water.
- Cook, covered, 20-25 min until the water is absorbed.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- While the millet mixture is cooking, cut off the stalks of the chard, dice, and add to the millet (so that there’s more nutritious crunch).
- Microwave the chard leaves for a minute or so to soften them.
- When the millet mixture is done cooking, stir in the lime juice, zest, and mint.
- Spoon about 3 Tbsp or so (depending on the size of the chard leaf) of the cooked millet mixture onto each chard leaf and roll up like a burrito (tuck in the sides), and place each roll seam side down in an 8×8 baking dish (see note).
- Add 1 Tbsp water, cover with aluminum foil, and bake 15 minutes.
Note: If you have kids, I think this rolling-up part would be fun for them. And since children are much more likely to eat food they’ve helped prepare, this might be a great way to get them to try a green vegetable they otherwise might approach with a less than enthusiastic attitude.