Simple ingredients with the perfect balance of flavours, this Swiss Chard Roll is a family favourite recipe we don’t go a swiss chard season without making. It’s fresh, fun to put together and is perfect for snacking or serving at gatherings. Let our tradition be yours!
Alright. Alright. So, you’ve probably had at least one cinnamon roll in your lifetime. You’ve maybe even had a pizza roll in the past. What about a jelly roll?! BUT have you even lived if you’ve never had a swiss chard roll? I mean, seriously. This is THE roll of rolls that will always come above all other rolls, especially if you’re asking absolutely anyone in my entire family.
Whether it’s my grandparents, my parents, my sisters and I or my sister’s newly born 2 month old son. This is a recipe that has been passed down for generations upon generations and clearly, we don’t intend to stop. Like this pasta sarde recipe that was also passed down from my Nonna and Nonno (and generations before them!), it holds a special place in my heart. And now, officially, the blog. I just know you’re going to love these delicious swiss chard pinwheels as much as we do!
Swiss chard may not be the first thing you go looking for in the produce section of your local grocery store. And it may not be the first vegetable that comes to mind when you think of what to make along side tonight’s dinner. Don’t worry. I’m like that, too. It’s almost as if I forget it even exists sometimes. I don’t know why, though. Cause every single year all it takes is one bite of this swiss chard roll hot out of the oven to remind me just how good it is. Trust me. You NEED to make it!
If the HUGE grin on my dad’s face while holding a freshly baked roll isn’t convincing enough, I don’t know what is!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS FAMILY FAVOURITE SWISS CHARD DOUGH ROLL
Once you’ve got the dough down pat, there really is only two star ingredients in this recipe for swiss chard roll. The first being the chard and the second being the garlic. Let’s discuss all the ingredients in a little bit more detail down below:
- The Dough: Think Pizza Dough. It’s the base of the roll and what encloses the delicious swiss chard filling. We always make our own dough using my simple pizza dough recipe (minus the Italian seasoning). It’s super simple to make and only has a 20 minute rise time. It’s the perfect base for this swiss chard roll and you only need flour, water, active dry yeast and salt to make it (find the full recipe HERE). However, if you’re tight on time, rolled out store bought pizza dough will work as well.
- Swiss Chard: The true star of the show in this family favourite recipe. So much so that I feel the need to mention that my parents specifically grow their own swiss chard each year just to make this roll. Swiss chard is a nutrient powerhouse being an excellent source of Vitamins A, K, and C as well as Magnesium. It has a pleasantly bitter and Earthy taste. Simply seasoning it with olive oil, garlic and chili flakes takes it to a whole other level and makes it the perfect filling for this roll.
- Garlic: The other star of the show in this swiss chard roll. Therefore, fresh minced garlic works best in this recipe and really makes the world of difference. It gives it the perfect freshness and garlicky bite.
- Chili Flakes: Adds a little bit of a spicy kick to the filling for these swiss chard pinwheels. Add more for extra spicy or omit completely for none at all.
- Olive Oil: Adds flavour and seasoning to the swiss chard taking away some of its Earthy bitterness. As always, good quality and extra virgin works best in this recipe. I don’t recommend using a different kind of oil as olive oil adds the perfect flavour profile we’re going for.
- Salt/Pepper: Adds flavour and seasoning to the swiss chard filling making the entire thing pop. The salt is also used to draw out some of the moisture in the swiss chard before assembling the roll.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT SWISS CHARD PINWHEELS (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to make this delicious swiss chard roll in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Read through the entire recipe before beginning. Although not a complicated recipe, there are a few different steps involved. Reading through the recipe card before starting will better prepare you and allow you to properly gauge your time.
- Remove the tough fibers from each swiss chard stem by simply running a knife along it (see photos in the recipe card down below for more details). Removing these tough and chewy fibers will make the swiss chard more pleasant to work with and the roll more enjoyable to eat.
- Cut the swiss chard into very small pieces. Not necessarily a mince but a pretty fine chop is what we’re going for here. You want the filling to stay enclosed in the dough and be enjoyable to eat.
- Don’t skip the salting step. FULL DISCLOSURE: This is kinda a two part recipe (hence the advice to read it through in advance) in the sense that you have to start the night before. You have to salt the swiss chard before you assemble the roll in order for it to release all of it’s excess moisture. The least amount of moisture present in the swiss chard will give you the best results as it won’t turn the dough soggy. Therefore, when you’re squeezing out the moisture the following day, be sure to be as thorough as possible and get as much water out of the swiss chard as you can.
- RECIPE NOTE ON THE DOUGH: You can make either one or two swiss chard rolls using my homemade pizza dough recipe since it produces two dough balls. If you make two, I recommend doubling the filling portion of this recipe to ensure a perfect dough to filling ratio as seen in the photos. If you only want to make one swiss chard roll, you can do what I do and also make a pizza at the same time using the second dough ball. Alternatively, you can freeze it to use for later.
- Make sure all of the filling ingredients are extremely well combined before assembling the roll. The swiss chard should be nicely and evenly coated in the salt, pepper, chili flakes, garlic and olive oil. Then, ensure you evenly distribute it over top of the dough before rolling. EXTRA TIP: Leave a couple inches of empty space around the entire perimeter of the dough. This account for moving and shifting of the filling while rolling.
- Use a piece of parchment paper to help you roll the dough (see the photos in the recipe card down below for more details). It can be sticky and a little bit tedious to work with but I find that the parchment paper really helps to hold it in place and makes the task of rolling the dough super fast and easy.
- Be sure to roll the dough tightly so the filling stays in place and doesn’t fall out while baking. EXTRA TIP: Use a fork to gently press along the seams which will keep the dough together and the swiss chard filling inside.
- Broil the swiss chard roll in the last 5 minutes of cooking to get that perfectly browned colour.
- Allow the swiss chard roll to cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing and serving. This will firm up the dough and flavours making it a lot easier to cut and hold together.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable similar to spinach or kale. It has a pleasantly bitter and Earthy taste but sweetens up a bit as it’s cooked and becomes soft and tender. Swiss chard is full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients making it a healthy addition to any diet.
Yes! Swiss chard can be eaten raw or cooked. When cooked, it has a slightly sweeter and milder taste with a tender texture. When eaten raw, it’s more on the bitter side with an Earthy soil-like taste. In this recipe for swiss chard roll, there is no need to cook the swiss chard before filling the dough. It goes in raw and comes out perfectly baked.
You can pretty much eat this green leafy vegetable in its entirety! Everything from the leaves down to the stems are safe to eat and packed full of healthy nutrients. PRO TIP: The stems of the swiss chard contain tough fibers that should be removed prior to cooking to make it more pleasurable to eat. See photos in the recipe card down below for how to easily do this.
For the Dough
- 5 cups All Purpose Flour, divided
- 2 cups Warm Water
- 1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tbsp Salt
For the Filling (double for 2 rolls - see notes)
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard
- 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes, optional
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- THE NIGHT BEFORE: Wash the swiss chard leaves and pat dry with a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, run it along the stems to peel away any tough fibres. Cut away any bad or tough stems. Chop the Swiss Chard up into small pieces and place it in a container with a tight fitting lid. Sprinkle generously with salt, give it a brief mix with your hands then cover. Place it in the fridge overnight to draw out all the excess moisture.
- The next day, squeeze out any liquid from the swiss chard, fistfuls at a time, until no water remains. I find the best way to do this is by putting a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Discard the liquid and place the swiss chard into a bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil, chili flakes and salt and pepper, to taste. Use your hands to mix the ingredients and massage them into the chard.
- Make the dough by following the instructions up to step number 6 in my homemade pizza dough recipe found HERE. It's the same process and recipe but without the use of Italian seasoning. Be sure to roll your dough out onto a piece of parchment paper as it will be helpful to keep the dough and filling in place while rolling.
- Evenly distribute the Swiss Chard mixture amongst one or both of your rolled out rectangular pieces of dough (see notes)*. Be sure to leave a couple inches of space around the perimeter of the dough to account for moving and shifting of the filling while rolling.
- Using the parchment paper to help you, carefully roll the dough into a tight log. Once it is all rolled, use a fork to seal the ends and edges.
- Bake in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes or until the dough is cooked through but still soft. Broil for 5 additional minutes to achieve that nice brown colour all over. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Recipe Time does not include the overnight time of swiss chard staying in the fridge.
RECIPE NOTE ON THE DOUGH: You can make either one or two swiss chard rolls using my homemade pizza dough recipe since it produces two dough balls. If you make two, I recommend doubling the filling portion of this recipe to ensure a perfect dough to filling ratio as seen in the photos. If you only want to make one swiss chard roll, you can do what I do and also make a pizza at the same time using the second dough ball. Alternatively, you can freeze it to use for later.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1368Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3813mgCarbohydrates: 248gFiber: 12gSugar: 2gProtein: 37g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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