Monday, 6 January 2014

Rainbow Chard Bundles

Its not easy to find rainbow chard or any other chard for that matter at large supermarkets, probably because it has a tendency to wilt not long after being picked.  No, the best place to find bunches of chard are at proper greengrocers and farmers markets where you can buy it direct from the grower, as I did about a month ago for my Ruby Red Chard Pasta Loaf.  

Chard is the one strikingly leafy stem that I am so looking forward to growing again, closely followed by the handsome curly kale.  There is so much diversity amongst the chard from bright lights chard, oriole chard, perpetual spinach, rainbow chard, rhubarb chard, silverline chard and the most well known of them all Swiss chard.  I loved how the colourful stems added a splash of colour to the garden the way flowers do.

So why am I talking about chard...

Truth is I have lots of home-made Boston Baked Beans left over from the weekend, so will probably be eating that later on with some home-made wedges, but I wanted to share a recipe that I've featured in my early days of blogging as it is something I am hankering to make again as there is a lightness about them that appeals, especially after all the rich festive food - just need to get my mitts on some chard, which is unlikely now unless on of the farmers is growing them under his/her poly tunnel!  

These chard bundles or parcels are so 1970s but are still appealing can be filled with all manner of things: rice, soya mincemeat or vegetables.  These however are filled with lightly spiced potatoes and lentils, similar to a samosa filling and they are not deep or shallow fried, but simply poached in vegetable stock.   If you really are having difficulty finding chard to make this recipe, then cabbage leaves would work well too.   As this recipe happens to be gluten-free, I am sharing it with  Ricki at Diet, Dessert, Dogs for her Wellness Weekends 2-6 January.

Rainbow Chard Bundles
Serves 4 - 6
500g potatoes, cooked and mashed
80g puy or brown lentils, cooked
1 green chilli, finely sliced
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 sprig of thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garam masala
12 – 15 medium chard leaves, cut off the stalks
100ml vegetable stock
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the onion, garlic, chilli, thyme and garam masala for a few minutes. Then add the drained lentils and cook for a minute or so until well coated. Turn off heat and add the mashed potatoes until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add chard to boiling water and cook for a minute, then pull out to drain. 
On a works surface, lay out a chard leaf and put a generous tablespoon of the potato mix.
Roll the leaf up, tuck in the sides and roll the leaf to the end, keeping the bundle tight. Repeat with the rest of the leaves, then place in an oven dish. Pour in the vegetable stock. 
Cover with foil and cook gas mark 5 for about 20 minutes.


  1. One of those parcels appears to be tied up with Red Tape! I'm a great fan of Perpetual Spinach - it is exceptionally hardy and resilient. You can chuck the worst weather at it and it will still come back strongly in the Spring - in fact it is one of the first veg to be available after the Hungry Gap. Chard is closely related, though I have heard that the coloured ones are less hardy.

    1. Thank you Mark :)
      You seem to be the only one ever commenting on my blog, much appreciated and it always makes me smile. Thank you.
      I've grown the coloured variety a few years back and actually found them quite resilient in the Scottish harsh winter weather. I would even dig them and move them to other parts of the plot. They grew pretty well.

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