Lemony Bulgur-Stuffed Swiss Chard Leaves


For her refreshing dish, chef Semsa Denizsel uses blanched chard leaves to wrap herb-laced bulgur. She serves the stuffed leaves without baking them; they’re a lovely change from standard braised grape leaves. Slideshow:  More Bulgur Recipes 

Lemony Bulgur-Stuffed Chard Leaves
Photo: © Claire Thomas
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr


  • 24 medium Swiss chard leaves, stems and ribs removed

  • 1 cup coarse bulgur (about 6 ounces)

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 long green Korean peppers, or 1 poblano chile, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon Turkish red pepper paste (see Note)

  • 1 plum tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs, such as parsley, dill and mint

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the chard leaves until bright green, 1 minute. Drain the leaves and rinse under cold water. Drain again and carefully pat the leaves dry with paper towels.

  2. In a heatproof medium bowl, cover the bulgur with the boiling water. Cover and let stand until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes.

  3. In a skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, 4 minutes. Add the peppers and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper paste. Add the diced tomato and cook until sizzling, 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the bulgur, herbs and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spread a chard leaf out on a work surface; overlap the leaf to fill the space where the rib was. Mound 3 tablespoons of the filling on the lower third of the leaf. Bring the lower end of the leaf up and over the filling and roll up tightly, folding in the sides as you go. Repeat with the remaining chard leaves and filling. Arrange the stuffed leaves on a platter. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and serve.


Turkish red pepper paste, also known as biber salcasi, is available at specialty stores.

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