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LOCATION: Recipes >> Casserole Recipes >> Swiss Chard Dolmades

Print this Recipe    Swiss Chard Dolmades

(Serves 4)

16 smaller Swiss Chard leaves, each approx. 6" to 8" long

2/3 cup white rice, or a mixture of white rice and orzo
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 T white raisins or chopped dried apricots
1 T curry powder
1 tsp. salt

8 oz lamb shoulder meat, fat trimmed, chopped in 1/2" pieces
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup white rice
1 tsp dried dill or 2 T chopped fresh dill
2 tsp salt

3 cups canned tomato juice
Lemon wedges

Saute rice/orzo and garlic in butter for 1 minute, add almonds.
Stir just until almonds become a bit brown. Turn off heat, stir
in remaining ingredients.

Brown lamb and garlic in olive oil, add rice and stir just until
rice begins to brown. Turn off heat, stir in remaining ingredients.

Have both the fillings prepared and ready to go. In a 9X11" baking
dish or large wide-bottomed stewing pot, pour 3/4 cup tomato juice,
or enough to cover the bottom of the dish about 1/2" deep. Rinse
chard leaves and cut off any stem. Stack chard leaves in a steamer
basket or metal colander over a large kettle of boiling water:
cover. Allow leaves to steam 3-4 minutes or until soft and pliable
but still quite green. After 2 minutes of steaming you can use
two spatulas to turn the whole stack of leaves over to allow the
"less cooked" ones on the top to steam more thoroughly. Remove
chard leaves to a plate. Separate them and allow them to cool so
they will be easier to handle. Flatten a chard leaf on the working
surface and place about 2 tablespoons of chosen filling 1/2 inch
above the bottom stem end. Fold each side over the filling, then
roll up from the stem end "burrito style", ending with the top of
the leaf folded over the roll. Place the dolmade "leaf-tip-side-down"
in the tomato juice in the prepared pan. You should be able to see
the roll, but not any of the seam, which should be underneath. I
differentiate the vegetarian and meat dolmades by placing a sliver
of carrot or red pepper on top of the vegetarian ones. Repeat with
all of the remaining leaves. If you tear a leaf and can't use it
or have extra filling left over, you can sprinkle it into the tomato
juice when you bake the dish and your sauce will be all the more
delicious. Pour remaining tomato juice over the dolmades. Two
cooking methods:

Bake in a moderate 350 degree oven for 35 minutes on the top shelf,
uncovered. or Simmer in a large stew pot on top of the stove. If
you choose this method, weight the dolmades down by placing a plate
on top of them and then putting something heavy (i.e. a heavy coffee
mug or two) on top of the plate. Simmer at low-medium heat on stove
top for 20-25 minutes. This method produces a more compact dolmade
that holds together better when you serve it.

Important: When you take them from the oven or turn off the stove,
let them sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. They are much
less likely to fall apart this way. Serve 4 dolmades per guest
with lemon wedges to squeeze over. They are delicious cold or room
temperature as well. Suggested accompaniments: Avegolemo soup,
tossed salad with black olives and feta cheese, fresh steamed
artichokes, garlic bread.

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