Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rainbow Chard and Ricotta

Rainbow Chard is beautiful.

rainbow chard

I just love the look of it - with it's multi-coloured stalks that range from a pale white to a vibrant red. Unfortunately once you cook the leaves they all tend to look the same.

With my bunch of rainbow chard I've decided to combine them with ricotta and turn it into a filling for a simple filo (phyllo) pastry roll.


Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Filo Roll
[Makes 2 rolls]

300 grams rainbow chard, leaves only (you can use silverbeet, spinach, cavolo nero etc if so desired or even a mix)
300 grams fresh ricotta, drained
1 egg
handful pine nuts
salt and freshly ground pepper
freshly ground nutmeg
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
8 sheets filo (phyllo) pastry
melted butter
sesame seeds

Wash the chard leaves well and then boil until just soft. Drain well and set aside to cool.

When cold, squeeze the leaves well to remove all excess water - roughly shred the leaves and place into a bowl.

Add the ricotta and stir to mix - then season with salt and freshly ground pepper and nutmeg. Sprinkle over with a generous handful of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pine nuts and stir well to combine. Taste and make any further adjustments to the seasoning.

Whisk the egg with a fork before adding it to the chard mixture - make sure it's well incorporated before setting this aside.

Take four filo sheets - place on sheet on baking paper and brush with melted butter; repeat with the other three sheets.

With the shortest side of the pastry facing you, place half the mixture near the bottom shaping it to form a sausage shape. Roll the filo over the filling to cover it - brush the exposed pastry with melted butter, fold in the sides and then continue to roll.

Place on a baking paper lined tray - brush the outside with a little more melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Repeat the process with the remaining filo sheets to make another roll.


Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven until the pastry has browned and the filling has set - about 30 to 45 minutes.

Let it cool for 5 minutes on the tray before serving.


When you cut through, you'll see the layers of crisp filo surrounding the mix of chard and ricotta that is attractively studded with pine nuts - the ricotta helps to lighten the feel of this dish.


Serve as a side or on it's own.

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  1. Beautiful! Both the rainbow chard and the filo roll. I love veg roll like this!

  2. Haalo, what a beautiful vegetable - your way of cooking with it is fabulous too. I love filo tarts.

  3. Thanks Anh!

    Thanks Patricia!

  4. Oh my, it does look just fantastic. I'm feeling guilty because I still haven't gotten my chard seeds planted and it's raining today, so another day it won't get done.

  5. That's a very Turkish-style meal, Haalo. Filo pastry wrapped around various fillings, especially spinach. And coming from Hackney I know good Turkish food when I see it. I know from my Aussie gastronomy that there's some Greek and Lebanese influence in Oz cuisine, how much so with Turkish? I'm quite curious. By the way your photo of the chard leaf honestly makes me want to give up my pathetic attempts with my own camera.

  6. hi luv. i love the rainbow chard and it just reminded me that i have to go and buy some, as long as it is the season. they come in all coulours here - yellow, pink, red, green. nice job on the filo roll!

  7. Haalo, no surprises that you were able to make the humble chard roll look so elegant. I like spinach & ricotta filo pie, so I will try to make this, esp. since I've not tried cooking chard before. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Oh Haalo...this is beautifully wonderful! I tried Swiss chard for the first time only recently, and didn't even know there was Rainbow chard! I have so much to learn! :)

  9. Thanks Kalyn - can you send some of that rain this way?

    Thanks Trig - I think turkish/middle eastern flavours have emerged into the mainstream in probably the last 10 years. I think Australians are really good at absorbing all these different techniques and ingredients and then picking and choosing which ones best show off the product. If the 90's was balsamic vinegar than the 00's is pomegranate molasses!

    Thanks Myriam!

    Thanks Nora - I hope you like it!

    Thanks Chris - you'll recognise rainbow chard immediately - there's some delicate pink varieties too.

  10. AnonymousJune 07, 2007

    such beautiful pictures, looks delicious!

  11. The chard is beautiful and that roll looks perfect!

  12. Thanks Aria!

    Thanks Brilynn!

  13. Haalo - I wanted to let you know that we had this for dinner tonight and it was just fantastic! Thanks so much!!!

  14. Thanks Katie - I'm so happy you enjoyed it and thanks so much for letting me know!


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