Don’t you feel like chard (with its gigantic leaves and bright red veins) belongs in some kind of prehistoric jungle? When I was growing this leafy green in my garden last season, I left it alone for a few weeks and came back to find that the leaves had grown to 2+ feet in size! I half expected to look up and see a brachiosaurus reaching down to take a bite out of one… Anyways. Today we’re using these massive leaves like tortillas to make super-fresh wraps with an amazing garbanzo/sunflower filling.
This filling is one of my favorite things of all time, it’s like the perfect mashup between a vegan tuna salad and hummus. It has a ton of bright flavors and a nice texture that works great as a filling. Wrap it up in some giant chard leaves with some other fresh veggies and it’s the perfect spring/summer lunch.
Makes about 4-6 wraps servings
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas
- 1 large carrot
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 tablespoons red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt & black pepper, to taste
- 4-6 large chard leaves
- 1/3 cup sprouts
- 1 avocado
- 1 red bell pepper
- Sesame seeds, optional
Step One: The Filling
To start, make the amazing sunflower/garbanzo filling by soaking the raw sunflower seeds in water for at least 30 minutes, then draining and adding to a food processor along with the chickpeas. Process these two ingredients until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides if needed and add 1-3 tablespoons of water if it’s too thick to blend smoothly.
Then, add all other ingredients from that first list: a grated carrot, 2 stalks of chopped celery, 2 tablespoons of chopped red onion, parsley, dill, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and pepper. Pulse for just a few seconds to incorporate these ingredients. Finally, give this a taste and feel free to adjust any ingredients as needed.
This filling can be made way ahead of time and stored for up to a week, refrigerated, in a sealed container.
Step Two: The Wraps
Wraps are just like burritos: add the ingredients to the middle, fold in the sides, and wrap into a roll. It couldn’t be easier:
First, I suggest microwaving the chard leaves on a paper towel for 10-30 seconds so that they become softer and more pliable. Raw chard is quite thick and sturdy and you may have a hard time actually rolling the raw leaves.
(Time out – did I really just tell you to put your chard leaves in the MICROWAVE?! Why yes, I did. Conspiracy theories about radiation aside, microwaves are a safe and healthy way to cook – especially vegetables. One study found that microwaving preserved more nutrients than any other cooking method. I wouldn’t use it for everything, but it’s the perfect way to slightly soften these chard leaves without destroying them.)
With that settled, let’s finish these wraps. Simply spoon a generous amount of filling into the center of the leaves and layer with sliced red bell pepper, sprouts, avocado, and maybe some sesame seeds (or really any other veggies you like). In fact, I also cut up the stalk of the chard leaf and threw that in as well; chard is a close relative of beets, so the stalks are very sweet and crunchy.
Finally, fold in the sides, pull one end of the leaf over the top of the filling and roll it up. With any luck, you’ll have a perfect, portable (slightly prehistoric-looking) chard wrap: