I work in a pretty open work environment. We have low walled cubicles, designed to encourage discussion and collaboration. Often, we all turn our chairs around from our respective computer screens to contribute to a new idea or project, share learning, or have an interesting discussion about our work. About just as often, we talk about our personal lives. This includes but is certainly not limited to what we did over the weekend, what we ate for dinner last night, fights with our roommates, what we’re wearing to so-and-so’s wedding, the good/bad date that took place the night before… the list goes on. I’m not sure this is what our founder had in mind when he designed the office space, but I like it.
So, when I pick up my farm share on Thursday afternoons around the corner from my office, I usually open it up for the first time in my cubicle with my low-walled-cubicle-friends. I always know what will be in the share (due to a weekly newsletter from the farm), but I get to SEE it for the first time at that moment. Walking by, people often stop to comment on the big cardboard box labeled “VEGETABLES.”
With this box, I was quite impressed. The green chard is. to. die. for. It’s a bright, jungle green, about 2 feet long from the bottom of the stem to the tip of the leaf, and the leaves are HUGE. Like, twice the size of my head huge. I opened the box and waved the green chard around like a flag. As soon as I laid eyes on them I knew what they would become – green chard spring rolls.
Green Chard Spring Rolls
2 servings. Serving size: 2 rolls. Per Serving: $4.59, 183 calories, 1g fat, 16g carbs, 26g protein.
Prepare 1 bunch of rice noodles according to package directions. Julienne ½ medium cucumber (after removing the seeds) and 1 medium carrot. Boil 4 large shrimp until pink. Remove the stem (below the leaf) from 4 large green chard leaves. Using kitchen shears, remove the backside of the stem. Keep the front part of the stem in place so that the leaves stay together, but removing the bulky part that sticks out in the back. This will make the leaf bend more easily. Steam the leaves for about 2 minutes, then rinse in cold water and let dry on a paper towel.
Assemble the leaves by putting a small amount of each of the filling items (noodles, carrot, cucumber, and shrimp) in the middle of the bottom part of the leaf, with 1 basil leaf (per roll). You should use about half a cup of filling per roll. Roll the leaf, turning the sides in first, tightly tucking the sides into place. Repeat with the second leaf and enjoy with soy sauce and sriracha.
You could make this with other hearty leafy greens, as long as the leaves are large enough to roll up. It helps if they’re large enough to double roll, as I did with these, but you could also wrap them with two separate leaves. Good options are kale or rainbow chard.