These meat stuffed Swiss chard leaves are commonly known as dolma and they happen to be one of my mom’s special dishes for Pesach. About a week before the holiday, she makes a large batch of these. Since she doesn’t serve them for the Seder meal, she freezes in two separate containers to be enjoyed later on in the week. I know that there are mixed views on eating quinoa during Passover, if you are not using quinoa, use matzoh meal.
These dolmas are delicious both with quinoa or matzoh meal, my mom uses matzoh meal during Pesach and rice throughout the year, they are easy to make, freeze well and reheat beautifully but I have to say, they are best as soon as they are cooked!
- 2-3 bunches Swiss chard, depending on the size of the bunch
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup quinoa or matzoh meal
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 1 medium tomato, peeled and grated
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups hot water
Blanch the Swiss chard in salted boiling water for about 1-2 seconds, transfer to a plate and let them cool.
Meanwhile prepare the filling, mix the ground meat with quinoa or matzoh meal, onion, tomato and parsley, season with salt and pepper.
Place the shiny side of leaf on a plate, remove the tough stems and cut the tough vein in the middle, put about a tablespoon of the meat filling on the bottom, bring the sides together and roll.
Cover the bottom of a medium, heavy bottomed pot with unused blanched leaves (this prevents the dolmas from sticking to the pot), arrange the stuffed leaves and put an inverted plate to keep the stuffed leaves in place.
Mix the hot water, tomato paste and olive oil, pour over the inverted plate and cook over medium heat for 30-35 minutes, serve piping hot. If you are planning on freezing, let them cool to room temperature, transfer to a container and wrap tightly to avoid freezer burn. The day before you are planning on serving, put the container in the fridge and let it thaw slowly; reheat over medium heat before serving.