I made these last night for dinner and despite my skepticism that they’d be filling, they were just perfect!
I saw a few recipes for similar rolls on Pinterest, but none that I really loved, so I thought I’d just add my favourite fillings.
It’s incredibly fresh-tasting, light and healthy, but also felt like I was eating proper food! The dipping sauce helped a lot with that. I wanted to create a fusion of the fresh Mediterranean flavours I love and the complex layers of Indonesia, and this matched so well! The tartness boldness of the dip was a perfect contrast to the clean, fresh rolls.
This is technically raw food, which is much better for health, especially for a dinner, but it tastes a lot more substantial than some of the other raw food you normally see.
It’s a bit fiddly to fill the rolls properly and roll them up well, and I discovered that my filling may have been a bit too liquidy, so next time I’ll add more couscous or vegetables.
Here’s what you need to make about ten rolls (enough for dinner and a snack the next day):
10 Swiss chard leaves, stems still intact
1 cup cooked couscous
3 small radishes, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 cup hummus
2 tomatoes, with the seeds removed (keep these for a sauce or soup), finely diced
1 small red pepper, finely diced
50g soft goats cheese (I used some from a ring of goats cheese coated in pepper)
2 purple spring onions, finely sliced (greens included)
1 tsp salt
1 fresh chilli, finely diced
For the dip:
2 tbsp peanut butter. This is roughly what I had left in my jar, so I just mixed everything in there and there was loads of dip leftover!
1 tbsp kecap manis (or soy sauce)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp sambal oelek
1 tsp sugar (ideally unrefined cane sugar)
Mix all the ingredients together, and adjust to taste. It should have quite a bold, tangy flavour. You may need to add a little hot water to the dip to loosen it up a bit, depending on its consistency.
Start by separating the leaves from the main stem of your Swiss chard. You’ll still need the stalk though, so keep that intact. Ideally, all the leaves would be quite large and free of holes, but I got these at the farmers market so no such luck. At least the bugs that chomped on these have good taste.
Bring a saucepan full of water to the boil, and reduce to a simmer. Blanch the leaves for about two minutes each, with the stems outside the water so you can use them as a handle. Gently remove them once the leaves are soft and pliable but still a beautiful dark green, then gently place on a plate, smooth side down, spreading out the leaves fully.
As you can see, I had a bit of a leaf lottery, but I practiced on the intact leaves and then moved to the Holy (get it…) ones.
While you’re doing this, mix all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl. You can leave it in the fridge for a while if you’d like, in case the couscous is still warm. It should all be cold when you fill the leaves.
The filling should hold together, but almost have the consistency of mashed potatoes, to make sure the rolls hold their shape. Add more dry ingredients to get the right balance.
When you have it ready, place about a tablespoon and a half of your filling at the base of a leaf, and slightly trim the stalk. Bring the sides of the leaf in, then the stalk, and gently roll towards the tip of the leaf.
To keep the roll intact, I kept the rolls tip-side down as I made the batch, then turned them over for presentation’s sake when I was ready to eat.
Once it’s all ready, you may want to return it to the fridge to allow it to set a little bit more, but they’re basically good to go.