Lebanese Stuffed Swiss Chard Leaves Recipe


3 Ibs. Swiss chard
1 1/4 cups rice
1/2 cup hummus (chik peas) (nuts may be substituted)
3/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup minced scallions
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice* (see footnote)
1 tomato, sliced
Several garlic cloves
Several small white onions


Remove chard stems. Soften leaves by dipping one at a time in boiling, salted water for a minute. Drain and pile in deep dish while preparing stuffing. Wash and drain rice. Crack hummus (which has been soaked overnight) with rolling pin. Discard skins which come off during rolling. Mix rice, hummus (or nuts), parsley, mint, chopped onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper, cinnamon, oil and most of the lemon juice or sammak water (see footnote). Reserve small amount of lemon juice to sprinkle on chard rolls near end of cooking. Stuff one leaf at a time using a heaping teaspoonful of stuffing. Fold up from bottom over stuffing and fold in from each side to center; then roll up like a cigar. Place in layers with open end down in pressure cooker, over the sliced tomatoes, onions and garlic. Sprinkle lemon juice or sammak water and half teaspoon salt over top layer. Pour in water to cover. Cook under pressure 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer to reduce sauce. Turn out onto serving platter. Serve cold. Cook these without pressure if preferred. Prepare as above. Cook gently in covered pan until stuffing is done—probably about 45 minutes.

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