You Won't Feel Neutral About These Yummy Swiss Chard Rolls!
Swiss chard is one of the best summertime vegetables, but you've probably never even heard of it, you uncultured buffoon. It has broad leaves and hearty, colorful stems, ranging from white through yellows to all kinds of pinks and rich purply reds. Chard is very closely related to beets. You might even think of it as a beet plant with no root so you have to eat the leaves. (Also, too, you can eat your beet leaves, if you want. Not as tender and tasty as chard, but much more satisfying than the shitty marble-sized beet your home garden produced.)
If you ventured beyond your Super Walmart's produce section to a local farmer's market FOR ONCE, you would almost certainly find Swiss chard from spring all the way through fall. It's also really easy to grow in your garden your own damn self. Yr Wonkette once had a Swiss chard plant survive a mild winter and continue to yield for a second year. It is easy to work with in the kitchen, and most importantly, it is delicious. For this recipe, try to find a bunch that doesn't have a huge rib of stem running the whole length of the leaf; it will make the rolling up easier.
SWISS CHARD ROLLS
1 bunch of Swiss chard (any color will do; as noted above, find leaves with thinner, less prevalent ribbing)
1 package fancy-dancy sausage (which you can probably also get at your local farmer's market, GUYS)
Some fully cooked and cooled pearl barley (or rice, perhaps leftover from Chinese, would be fine, we guess)
1 lemon wedge
Preheat the oven to 350 Fucking Degrees (that's 180 Cunting Degrees for those on metric).
Thoroughly rinse and dry your chard, unless you love to eat dirt, you dirt-eating hippie.
Using your Swiss army knife, trim the stems from the chard at the base of the leaf. Dice the stems finely, and place them in a bowl large enough to hold them, the sausage, and the barley.
Blanch the chard leaves. (No, this has nothing to do with the Golden Girls. You boil some water, drop the leaves in for just a minute, then get them the fuck out of there and into an ice bath, which you have already prepared before you boiled the water, duh!) Remove the leaves from the ice bath, dry them with a tea towel, and stack them up.
If your sausage is in a casing, call a moil! Alternatively, squeeze the filling out into the same bowl with with diced chard stem. We are using links from a local fancy sausage maker, but you could use any old kind of raw sausage here that you like. Leaner is better, so best to shy away from the cheaper breakfast bulk sausage rolls and go with a premium brand. Note: Chorizo is not "Swiss;" try to stay with the theme.
Scoop some barley into the bowl with the sausage and chard stem, and get to mixing it all up with your hands. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the filling. Are you drinking a beer and/or a nice white or rosé wine? Splash some of that on in there, for moisture and flavor purposes.
Once the filling is thoroughly mixed, ball it up, place the ball on your prepared Swiss chard leaf toward the cut stem end, roll it up kinda like a burrito, and place it in a baking dish seam side down. Repeat until you run out of filling or leaves, or if you planned your moves well, you run out of both at the same time, and your baking dish is the perfect size for the number of chard rolls you have produced. Lovely!
Cover and bake for about 20-30 minutes. At 350 F / 180 C, we already said.
You can eat this now while it's hot, or let it cool and pack it up for a lovely summer picnic, like we did. Enjoy!
Since we're using raw sausage, be sure to cook it completely, so you don't get a case of the Swiss sharts.
Do not cook it to a cinder, though, because nobody wants charred chard. [SHUT UP, DOK, WHO LET YOU EDIT? THERE WAS ALREADY A PERFECTLY GOOD PUN]
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