Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Swiss chard dolma

Ok, I know it has been a long time that I’ve last posted here. I am still writing my recipes but in a Turkish blog. Looking at the traffics of this English blog I thought it is not really interesting to put Turkish recipes on the internet. 

Anyway. But I know there are people out there who would and indeed do take interest with what I have to share. Big thanks to Sandra, the English lady in Italy, who genuinely gives me courage to continue with what I have to offer. 

I will start putting translations of recipes I’ve posted earlier on my Turkish blog. 

Here we go. Again. :)

Well, dolma stuff are really typical Turkish food. I know that in the neighbor countries like Romania, Greece, and Armenia and or even in the Middle East they make dolma. In Europe dolma is called dolmades after the Greek ones.

Normally the most common dolma we make is with the grape leaves. You can find freshly picked grape leaves or brined grape leaves. So all year long you can make them :) They also make dolma of any other leaves actually. Like swiss chard, like swiss chard or collard greens. It is the first time I try the swiss chard, but I can assure you that it is delicious. I found that the swiss chard is more difficult to work with than the grape leaves because they are more tender than the grape leaves. You have to be careful not to tear the leaf. But the result is great! I think it might be even more convenient for the palate of the European people because it is so tender. In Turkey we say “it is like eating Turkish delight” when we say that something is soft and tender in the mouth (like a piece of sofly baked meat) and I think swiss chard dolma was also like Turkish delight in that sense :)

Ingredients (see the notes below)

1 bundle of swiss chard, washed and drained

a bundle of swiss chard
a bundle of swiss chard

For the filling:
1 glass of rice, washed and drained
1 medium sized onion, chopped fine
1 handful of fresh mint, chopped fine
1 handful of parsley leaves, chopped fine
1 fresh onion, chopped fine
Salt to your liking
3 – 4 drops of sumac molasses (see the notes below)
Olive oil


  1. I started with preparing the filling: I heated the olive oil in a pan and I sautéed the onion for 3 – 4 minutes. Then I added the rice and sautéed it with the onion until the rice became transparent. When the rice was transparent I added half of a glass of water and closed the lid and cooked the rice until it soaked all the water on low fire.
  2. When the rice soaked the water and was half-cooked, I turned off the fire; I added some salt and put the pot uncovered aside so that the filling could cool down a bit.  
  3. While the rice was cooling down, I prepared the leaves of the swiss chard: I cut off the stalks of the swiss chard and put them aside. I used my pressure-cooker to steam-cook the leaves and I steam cooked the swiss chard leaves for 2 minutes. I let it aside a bit to let it cool down and squeezed the leaves to get rid of the excess water they had when they were a bit cooler. (see the notes section below)
  4. When the rice filling cooled down, I added the fresh herbs and the sumac molasses and mixed.
  5. Before rolling the dolma, I made sure that I placed the rice filling on the part of the leave where the windpipes are placed.  This will ensure a better looking dolma on the outside. Also, on the wider part of the leaf, if not the very middle. I closed the leave from left and right on the filling as if I am making a package. I rolled the pointy upper part on the filling and started rolling the whole leaf (see the pictures). I continued with this process until all the leaves were filled with the filling.
  6. I placed the dolma’s in a pot and poured half a glass of water (or a bit less). On low fire, I cooked the dolmas until the rice is soft. For me it took 15 – 20 minutes. 

Step 1 - the filling of the swiss chard dolma
Step 5 - place the filling in the internal part of the leaf where you see the thick windpipe of the leaf
Step 5 - place the filling on the wider part of the leaf. 
Step 5 - close the left and right wider sides of the leaf on the filling
Step 5 - close the pointy upper part on the filling; by enclosing from the sides, start rolling 
Step 5 - swiss chard leaf rolled around the filling
Step 6 - cook the dolma for about 15 - 20 minutes in half a glass of water so that they don't burn or stick to the bottom
Delicious swiss chard dolma
Swiss chard dolma


  • This amount will only be enough for 2 people for a dinner or lunch.
  • Alternative to the steam-cooking, you can blanche the leaves of the swiss card. Place them in boiling water and keep them there for 30 seconds to 1 minute; that is, until they are bright green and soft. Squeeze them out of the excess water without tearing the leaves.
  • If you do not have any sumac molasses available; alternatively you can use pomegranate molasses or half a lemon juice.


  1. They look delicious, Do you ever make them with different leaves, like Dock? I made some ages ago, but I had to tie them together!!
    Will follow this next time.

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    2. They were really delicious :)
      I have never tried to make dolma of the dock, but in Turkey I know that they do. The taste of the dock is actually more similar to that of the grape leaves. Can you find swiss chard in Italy? Rolling takes some time, but it think the taste is worth the effort :)