December 13th, 2008 at 5:50 pm
Posted By: gardenguru
Posted in: Growing Vegetables,Herbs,Recipes

My garden basket is filled with part of the ingredients to make Swiss Chard Manicotti.  The rainbow chard looks pretty growing, cut and even after it’s cooked.

My usual recipe for manicotti involves crepes made from eggs, flour and water.  This version seems much healthier, especially since I put less filling in each leaf.  After experimenting with several ways to cook the Swiss chard, it works best for me to keep the leaves whole.  I stack about six or seven and put them in a glass stove top pan in just a little water.  Then I turn them until they are all tender.  When they are cool I cut out the stem part way down.  This is time consuming, but so is making the crepes.

Any Italian tomato sauce will do.  I start by sauteing onions and garlic in a skillet, then adding fresh oregano, basil and thyme.  Next I add fresh tomatoes, finely chopped.  If it needs more sauce I add either tomato sauce or paste.  I pour part of it into the bottom of a casserole dish.

The filling is basically like this one from Epicurious. Sometimes I add spinach, but not with the Swiss chard.  I do add finely chopped scallions and just a sprinkle of nutmeg.  After filling, the leaves are rolled up and placed in the tomato sauce.

When full I top with more tomato sauce and sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese.  Most of the time I also saute some sliced mushrooms and add before topping with the sauce and cheese.

Traditional manicotti and this recipe are family favorites.  It can be made a day ahead and cooked just before serving.  It takes 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until bubbly.  After cooking it can be frozen, thawed and cooked the same way.

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