Dolmades are wonderful little bites, grape leaves wrapped around rice or savory meat. The Swiss Chard is still producing so I decided to replace the grape leaves with Chard. The last time I made the Kofte it was delicious. Why not combine the two? The result was a flavorful morsel, tender and pungent, that played well with crispy panfried chickpeas and radish greens.
Swiss chard and Lamb Kofte Dolmades
Swiss Chard leaves trimmed and steamed
1 lb (500 g) ground meat – preferably lamb, but lamb/beef, or even ground turkey will work
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 onion grated
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) ground coriander
1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin
½ teaspoon (2 ml) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) ground ginger
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 bunch parsley minced
1/2 cup (125 ml) rice
2-4 cups (500ml- 1l) broth (or water)
- Combine all ingredients except chard leaves and broth in a large bowl and mix well
- Trim stalk end off chard leaves and steam until pliable. – this only takes a few minutes
- Gently turn out leaves rib side up, and using a small sharp knife, remove a ribbonof some of the rib at the bottom , effectively making it thinner which will make the leaves easier to roll up. Set aside, reserving enough chard leaves to line the bottom of the pot you’ll cook them in.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat add the meat/spice/rice mixture and cook until browned.
- Remove from heat and allow to rest until it is cool enough to handle.
- Place about 2 Tablespoons filling at on the rib side of a prepared leaf. Fold over the bottom, fold in the sides, and roll up like a spring roll or burrito.
- Repeat with the rest of the leaves or until meat filling runs out
- Add reserved leaves to bottom of pot, and place rolls in pot, seam side down. Add broth to almost cover
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover until rice is tender – 40-60 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving
While the dolmades cook, prepare the panfried chick peas. This is a different take on them and they are delicious and adaptable in so many ways. The secret is to drain and dry the chick peas before adding to hot oil.
2-3 Tablespoons (30-45 ml) Olive Oil
Handful of Greens (I used radish because they they looked great in the garden
Pinch of salt
Pinch of chili powder (optional)
- Drain, rinse and dry chickpeas – this is important!
- In a hot saute pan, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking
- Add the chickpeas and swirl to coat with oil
- Sprinkle with salt and chili powder
- Pan-fry stirring often for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy
- Add a little more olive oil and the greens
- Cook until the greens are just wilted
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!