If you want to serve these with some plain yogurt for dipping, I would encourage that. Or, a zippy tahini dressing is equally as delectable. Something soft, creamy, and bright is really what you want to compliment all of the flavours and textures in these.
Along with being simple, make-ahead, packable/portable, scrumptious, and not too heavy (yet filling), these also deliver the power of dark leafy greens. Swiss chard in particular is packed with iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamins C, E, K, and A, potassium, and much more.
- 10 large rainbow or regular swiss chard leaves, reserved, stems finely diced (for filling)
- ½ cup uncooked short-grain brown rice
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Ground pepper, to taste
- 20 kalamata or nicoise olives, pitted and finely chopped
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint or dill (or a combination)
- 2 tbsp dried currants (optional)
- Plain yogurt (for nut/seed-free) or tahini dressing, for dipping
- To Make the Rice: In a medium saucepan, combine brown rice with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook on low for 35 to 45 minutes until tender and all the water has been absorbed. Cool.
- To Make the Filling: In a wide high-sided sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat (don’t let smoke). Add finely chopped chard stems, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened and translucent (about 10 minutes). Take off heat, add in olives, chickpeas, and vinegar. Mash with a fork or back of a spoon until chickpeas are slightly broken down and mixture holds together. Stir in cooked rice. Cool completely. Once completely cool, add in mint or dill and currants, if using.
- To Make the Dolmades: Lay a chard leaf with the rough side facing you. Press the palm of your hand to crush the stalk slightly. At the bottom of the wrap (leave a ½-inch border on the bottom and 2 sides, scoop ⅓ cup filling; form into a log shape. Tuck in the two outside pieces and roll until you get a “burrito” shape. Place seam-side down on a plate and chill until ready to steam. Or, if you’re eating it raw, dig in now.
- To Steam: Place dolmades seam-side down in a steamer basket. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes. Eat immediately warm or cool a little or chill completely (this helps them hold their shape and allows the flavours to meld). Serve with plain yogurt or tahini dressing for dipping/drizzling. Dolmades can be kept assembled in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Steamed can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 day.