Mehshi selek "stuffed swiss chard leaves"
Stuffed Swiss chard leaves
Stuffed Swiss chard leaves "mehshi selek": Swiss chard is a vegetable that is used frequently in the Lebanese cuisine, making out of it many different recipes using both the stems and the leaves. I have already presented the swiss chard soup in my blog which is made of both, the leaves and the stems.
This dish contains one of the highly nutritious vegetables, also it is one of the most delicious vegetarian dishes in my cuisine.
Prep.time:1 hour 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 5 to 6
25 Swiss chard leaves
One cup rice
1 cup soaked chickpeas overnight or substituted by cooked chick peas
I bunch Italian parsley finely chopped
15 mint leaves finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp red pepper or cayenne
2 large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large tomato sliced
PREPARATION: separate the chard leaves from the stems. Pot water in a large pot over high heat to boil. After washing the leaves very well, drop every 6 leaves at the same time in the boiling water for few seconds. Prepare cold water in a large bowl, as soon as you take out the boiled leaves, dip them in cold water. This method helps the leaves to soften and makes it easier to roll. The cold water keeps the leaf from ripping apart. Now set aside in a large colander until you finish the rest.
Wash the rice, drain and put in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes and onions, now add the salt, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, the juice of half a lemon and the chickpeas. Mix all the ingredients together, If you are using the soaked chickpeas, crack them by passing over them a rolling pin so they split in half. Throw away all the skins.
Prepare a cooking pot and cover the bottom with the sliced tomatoes. On a flat board divide the leaf into 2 pieces or more depends its size, put a tbsp of the filling in the middle of each leaf lengthwise, fold one edge and roll each leaf until completely rolled as shown in the images.
Place the rolls on top of the sliced tomatoes to cover the bottom then arrange the stuffed chard leaves in rows until you finish all the layers. Sprinkle the salt, add the remaining juice from the stuffing and water to cover the rolls then put on top a glass plate upside down. It will keep the rolls in place while cooking. Cover the pot and bring to boil and let it simmer for 25 mins then add the rest of the lemon juice and the olive oil.
Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes then flip onto serving platter or set a platter yourself using cooking gloves. You can serve it warm or cold with a bowl of plain yogurt on the side.
You are going to love this amazing dish. Once you give it a try, you will crave for its delicious lemony taste and the aroma of the herbs mixture with the olive oil.