- 2 bunches Swiss chard
- 2 ounces pancetta, diced crosswise
- 1/4 cup diced shallot
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock, hot
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Roasted Red Pepper and Pine Nut Coulis, recipe follows
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the Swiss chard leaves until pliable enough for rolling, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut the large ribs from the center of the leaves and set leaves aside. Finely dice the ribs and reserve separately.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the pancetta and cook until it begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the shallot and reserved diced Swiss chard ribs and cook until vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the barley, salt and pepper and then deglaze the pan with white wine and cook, stirring, until the wine has evaporated. Begin adding the chicken stock in 1 cup increments, stirring constantly and adding more stock when the first addition has been completely absorbed. Repeat this process until you have used all of the stock. Add the chopped parsley, cheese and lemon zest. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside until the barley is cool enough to handle.
Using slightly damp hands, form 2 tablespoons of the barley into a tight ball. Repeat with remaining barley. One by one, place the barley sphere onto the bottom edge of 1 of the Swiss chard leaves and roll the ball in the leaf, tucking edges in and rotating the ball so that the barley is evenly covered and the edges of the leaf are smooth. You should be able to form about 12 boules.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Arrange the boules in a shallow baking dish and add 1/4 cup water or stock; cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the boules are completely warmed through. Serve immediately with the Roasted Red Pepper and Pine Nut Coulis.
Roasted Red Pepper and Pine Nut Coulis:
- 3 roasted red peppers, skins and seeds removed, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process to a thick, creamy puree. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Yield: 2 cups sauce