Butternut and Chard Roulade

Felled by a particularly noxious cold, all I want to eat right now is a vat of turkey broth. But if you’re looking for something light and veggie in the aftermath of Christmas you might enjoy this butternut and chard roulade.

It’s a recipe I wrote for January’s edition of Suffolk magazine and although it looks rather like a Swiss roll, it tastes more like an ethereal omelette. The filling gives it texture, zest and a bit of cheesy goodness. My thanks to Steph Clubb for the inspo.

I’m afraid wit and coherent sentences elude me today. Brevity must suffice, sorry.

You will need a Swiss roll tin approx. 23cm x 30cm.

I wish you all a happy new year and hopefully a healthy one, too. [cough]

Butternut and Chard Roulade

Image of butternut and chard roulade, sliced to show filling, on a wooden board.

For the roulade:
60g butter
50g plain flour
250ml milk
4 eggs, separated
40g grated parmesan, plus more to garnish

Filling 1:
150g soft goat’s cheese
1 tbsp creme fraiche
3 tbsp grated parmesan (optional, if the goat’s cheese is very mild)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Zest and juice of ½ lemon

Filling 2:
400g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
A small bunch of chard, washed and dried
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper


Make the fillings first. For the goat’s cheese layer, just mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Now strip the chard leaves from the stems and slice them finely. Trim the stems and cut into 1cm dice. Keep separate.

Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan and add the diced butternut. Season with salt and black pepper and saute gently, stirring occasionally, until the squash is soft and its edges have caramelised. Halfway through, add the chard stems, garlic and spring onions, stir and continue to cook.

Once the squash and chard stems are tender, stir through the shredded chard leaves, put on a lid and allow to wilt. Remove the lid, stir in the sage leaves and deglaze with the balsamic vinegar, turning up the heat a little so there’s almost no liquid left in the pan. Check the seasoning and set aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 190C/170 fan/Gas Mark 5. Oil the swiss roll tin and line it with a sheet of oiled baking paper. Melt the butter in a saucepan until foaming. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two until it’s bubbling gently, then remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk until it’s smooth and combined. Place back on the heat and cook, stirring, for five minutes until thickened. Add the grated parmesan and cook for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.

Separate the eggs. Place the whites in a clean, dry bowl and using an electric whisk, beat to stiff but not dry peaks. Set aside.

Once the cheese sauce has cooled enough that you can comfortably place your hand on the side of the pan, beat the egg yolks into the sauce one at a time. Add a third of the egg white mixture, cutting it in gently with a metal tablespoon until blended. Add the remaining egg white and fold until combined, trying not to knock all the air out.

Pour straight into the lined swiss roll tin, tipping the tin so it reaches the corners. Tap the tin on the counter gently to make sure it’s level. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until risen and golden. Don’t overcook it or it will be hard to roll.

When done, remove from the oven and loosen the sides with a palette knife. Place a sheet of baking paper the size of your tin on a clean tea towel and turn out the roulade. Remove the lining paper and let the roulade cool for a couple of minutes.

Spread with the goat’s cheese filling then scatter evenly with the butternut squash mixture.  Starting at a short end and using the baking paper to guide you, roll as tightly as you can into a cylinder. Place it seam-side down on a serving board or plate, and grate over a little more parmesan. Eat at room temperature.

17 thoughts on “Butternut and Chard Roulade

  1. This is brilliant! So sorry about the cold. Hope you mend soon. Just this morning I put a butternut squash on the counter, eyeing it from time to time tho long hmmm, what to do. So thanks… Creativity across the miles. And dinner tonight.

  2. “I’m afraid wit and coherent sentences elude me today.” Ahhh. Upon seeing the recipe name I wondered if the name of the recipe was more enticing than the flavor. I want to serve it just so I can say it, perhaps with a French accent. Feel better and best wishes for a Happy New Year.

  3. This looks good, and well done for posting. My wider family, in three different parts of the country and none near you have all been felled by the dreaded mega-cold this Christmas. You Are Not Alone. Happy New year!

    • Virtually our entire family has it. Many coughs and sniffles around the dinner table but it didn’t seem to impair their appetites. 😀 Glad you like the recipe, Margaret, thank you. Happy New Year to you too. Lx

  4. “Well this is bloody delicious!” said the offspring after only the first bite. We all concurred!
    Fabulous recipe, thank you, Linda.

    I’ve never made a Swiss roll/roulade sponge before, so it was with some trepidation I texted the ingredients to the spouse already engaged upon grocery shopping.
    Really yummy and light, a thorough method which was easy to follow, and acceptable to all who don’t eat meat (I skated over the eggs when the ingredients were requested ahem).
    Happy new year, and hope the sniffles abate soon.

    • I’m pleased it was such a resounding success, Jo, thanks. Our sniffles turned out to be covid so we’ve been subsisting mainly on soup.

      Erm – you know this isn’t a Swiss roll sponge, right? Maybe a proper Swiss roll should be on my list of recipes to write up.

      Happy New Year to you all. Lx

  5. Looks divine, Linda. I recently made a very similar savory “strudel” only the filing was squash and mushroom. It was a huge hit with guests, and I’m sure this would be, too.

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