Stuffed Rainbow Chard Leaves, Pesto Rosso

My neighbor and I have a gardening disagreement.

She thinks chard is a winter vegetable; I think it’s a summer vegetable.

But then she plants the typical French chard which has very wide, white stems and not very wide leaves and she plants it in the fall.

The French eat the stems and toss the leaves.

I plant the ‘other’ chard which has pretty colored, narrow stems and wide leaves and I plant it in the spring.

I plant it for the leaves, but we eat the stems along with them.

My favorite way to eat them is stuffed. I use a substantial stuffing for a main course and a lighter stuffing for a first course.

These are just little bites for a first course.

Stuffed Rainbow Chard Leaves, Pesto Rosso

Total time: 35 minutes

  • 12 medium – large chard leaves
  • 2oz (60gr) Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, cut into strips
  • 1 roasted red or yellow pepper, cut into strips
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbs fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 tbs fresh garlic chives, chopped
  • 2 tbs pesto rosso
  • 1 tbs good olive oil

Stuffed Chard with Pesto Rosso


  • Blanch the chard leaves in boiling water for 20 seconds.
  • Remove and refresh in cold water, separating the leaves from each other. Drain well.
  • Cut the stem out by slicing on either side of the stem, about half way up the chard leaf.  Discard or reserve for another use.
  • Place 1/12 of the ham, pepper, tomato and herbs on each leaf, about 2 inches from the tip.
  • Roll the end of the leaf over, then roll the whole bundle over once.
  • Tuck the sides of the leaf in, folding as necessary and continue rolling to make a neat bundle.
  • Put chard bundles into a skillet, add 1/4 inch of water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. They don’t need to cook, just warm through.
  • Combine pesto rosso and oil.
  • Spoon sauce onto 2 plates, add stuffed chard leaves and serve

Print Recipe

I used Barilla Pesto Rosso for this. You can find my Pesto Rosso recipe here. It’s too early in the season for me to be making it – no Roma tomatoes yet and not nearly enough basil.

Speaking of my garden – this is the latest. We’ve had 3 weeks of hot, dry weather and everything has exploded.


Remember the Chinese Red Spinach that has a mystery visitor every night?

This is it…. Or, at least the two plants that are left.  It’s pretty. I’ll let it get a bit bigger before we eat it…. Assuming we ever get a chance.


Notice the bits of pottery. Every year we pick buckets of pottery, broken bricks, broken glass, rusty nails and scissors, as well as ancient toothpaste tubes and who know what else.

We clean it up and more appears.

Every year.

It’s a modern archaeological site.

4 thoughts on “Stuffed Rainbow Chard Leaves, Pesto Rosso”

  1. Well, you could be growing a car in your yard…

    My dad bought the property I live on in 1935. It was a small portion of a much larger farm that had been parceled into huge lots. My father used a far back corner of the several acres as not so much a garbage spot but a catch all for the other detritus like wire, pieces of link fence, barbed wire and I flat head Ford. The engine finally surfaced enough to finish digging it out last fall. There’s still more coming up.

    This dish looks wonderful but I’d have to make it without the peppers. 🙁

  2. nightsmusic, it’s amazing how stuff just keeps coming to the surface. We had a big metal pot surface in the front lawn 2 years ago.

    Kate, rubbish tip is right!

    Zoomie, it’s really doing well this year – last year was awful, so I guess it’s averaging….

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