Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard, Brown Rice and California Prune Dolmas

The natural sweet, chewy bites of California Prune add texture, flavour and moisture to this earthy dish.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Mark Liberman and the California Prune Board.

Makes: 6Prep Time: 30 minCook Time: 1 1/2 hours total


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced California Prunes
  • 1/2 cup diced Swiss chard stems
  • 3 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 18 large leaves Swiss chard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds kernels, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add rice and bay leaf and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.

2.  Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in California Prunes, chard stems, sunflower seeds, parsley, lemon zest and spices. Season with salt and let cool completely.

3.  Rinse chard, pat dry and cut away stems. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Cook 3 to 4 leaves at a time just until softened; remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.

4.  Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on the bottom half of each leaf. Fold in sides, then roll up tightly to enclose filling. Spread a layer of Swiss chard leaf scraps on the bottom of a large and heavy pot to prevent dolmas from burning. Lay dolmas seam side down over leaves.

5.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil and add 2 cups of boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and let cool slightly. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with sunflower seeds and red chilli flakes.