Chard Spring Rolls; talk the talk

Now that the lettuce is finished and I am no longer washing lettuce leaves for every meal the chard is ready.and I can wash chard leaves.

At least chard leaves are bigger.

If I’m not paying attention, they can get very, very big.

I only plant one row, we’ve been eating it for 2 weeks and I’ve already cut it back completely once.

Loaves and fishes have nothing on Swiss chard.

Chard Spring Rolls

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 2 sheets phyllo dough, cleaned
  • 6 medium chard leaves
  • 1.5oz (45gr) bacon, chopped
  • 1oz (30gr) feta, crumbled
  • 6 Greek olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped leek
  • Tomato Olive Garnish:
  • 2 tbs black olive tapenade or finely chopped black olives
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Chard Spring Rolls


  • Finely chop chard stems and set aside.
  • Finely chop chard leaves,
  • Sauté bacon until crisp and chard stems until bacon is crisp.
  • Add chard leaves and stir-fry until wilted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in feta and olives.
  • Remove 1 sheet of pastry and re-wrap the rest.  It’s important to keep filo covered at all times or it will dry out very quickly.
  • Lay the sheet out flat and lightly brush all over with olive oil.
  • Cut pastry in half the long way.
  • At the narrow end of one half divide and arrange 1/4 of the chard mixture.
  • Roll up like a cigar, tucking in sides as you roll.
  • Place on an oiled baking sheet and brush the top and sides with oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and filling, making 4 rolls in all
  • Bake at 400F (200C) for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Combine ingredients for garnish. Warm slightly in the microwave 
  • Remove rolls and serve with Tomato Olive Garnish

Print Recipe

My young neighbor came to visit today. He’s been working in Canada at a summer internship. He had to come home to get his U.S. visa so he can join a master’s program in the fall at a U.S university through a U.S. / French exchange program.

I had helped him with his C.V. and paperwork this spring, and with some English language projects. He wanted to let me know how he was fairing in North America.

Schadenfreude is a German word that describes feeling good about another’s misfortunes or mistakes.

It comes close to how I feel when I’m having a conversation with someone struggling to learn my language as I struggle to learn theirs.

I correct his mistakes, of course, because he wants me to. That’s how he learns.

He, on the other hand, would never correct my mistakes because that would be rude. Contrary to what you may have heard the French do not like to be rude. They consider rudeness a sign of a very poor ‘upbringing’.

I digress….

He, like the people in my conversation group, find the verbs ‘to speak’, ‘to talk’, and ‘to say’ somewhat confusing.

An example would be: I say to him in English.

Often the usage isn’t technically incorrect but more of a ‘we don’t say it that way’ issue.

I would say:’ We speak English at work’ whereas he said: ‘We talk English at work’.

After a few corrections I shared my most recent struggle.

Yesterday was the last day of French school before the summer holidays. We spent the morning reviewing ‘problem areas’. One of those areas is the difference between ‘que’ and ‘qui’.

The simple answer is the que means ‘that or which’ and qui means ‘who’. But in French the simple answer is never the right answer. Without boring you with details it all has to do with whether the noun (they’re pronouns) that they are replacing is a subject, a direct object or an indirect object.

Given a few moments to think about it I know which is the correct pronoun to use. However, in the normal course of a conversation it’s extremely difficult to get the rest of the group to be quiet while I pause to determine which to use.

While I’m thinking about sentence construction the topic of conversation has switched from cruising the Greek Islands to the possibility of a human habitat on Mars.

My young friend was a bit baffled that I found the 2 pronouns confusing (perfectly clear to him) but he appreciated my struggles to talk, er, I mean, speak French.

Then he asked about American supermarkets and I explained what Hamburger Helper is…..

Last update on June 28, 2017

4 thoughts on “Chard Spring Rolls; talk the talk”

  1. Except they don’t call it Hamburger Helper anymore. They wanted to be hip and updated and show there was more to it than hamburger, so now, they just call it Helper. *sigh*

    I really like chard so I’ll definitely be trying this one!

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I belong to a co-op where we get vegetables every week but we never know what and lately, lots of chard! This sounds great – especially as I’m not a huge fan of chard.

  3. nighstmusic, I clearly remember both Hamburger Helper and Tuna Helper. I even remember eating it. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that it still exists, but I can’t imagine eating it now. Chard is good food.

    kate, you are correct – you do not want to know about it. Now that I think about it – hamburger can be kind of misleading as well? All beef? maybe…..

    BPark, it can be bitter, in my opinion…. I need to be creative with it lol I have lots of recipes here:

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