When I tell people I was born in Queens -- I know what they're thinking. Flushing. That's where the Asian community is, right?
Yes, that's true. But that's not where I was born. I was born in Astoria -- little Athens.
Nowadays that means one thing: a mandatory visit to Titan, said to be the largest Greek grocery store in North America.
So that's what came to mind when I had some beautiful Swiss chard. My go-to prep (after just garlic, olive oil, and lemon) is Swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts. But how to make it different?
Dolma is from the Turkish verb dolmak, "to be stuffed." So...we're good!
Boil 2 cups of water, turn off, then add 1 cup cracked wheat. Let soak for 15 minutes, then drain off water.
While the water is boiling, toast 2 heaping tablespoons of pine nuts for 3 minutes at 350 degrees. Keep watch! Pine nuts burn even when you're concentrating. and If you don't -- you're done for.
In a frying pan, add 2 cups of broth. When at a boil, add the stems of 5-6 Swiss chard leaves. After 3 minutes, add the leaves and keep simmering until wilted, about 2 minutes. Make sure they're still bright green -- not olive.
Mix 2 tablespoons raisins, toasted pine nuts, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon olive oil to cracked wheat. Mince Swiss chard stems and add. Mix well, then add one spoonful per Swiss chard leaf, wrapping like a burrito (sides, then along the length. Pour the remaining broth on top and serve.