Step-by-Step Guide to Making Lou Fassum: A French Delight

Lou Fassum


Lou Fassum, also known as La Farsure, is a traditional and hearty dish from the south of France, particularly from the region of Nice. It’s a flavorful and satisfying meal that combines ground meat, Swiss chard leaves, and a rich tomato sauce. The name “Lou Fassum” translates to “the stuffed one,” as it refers to the Swiss chard leaves stuffed with a mixture of ground meat, rice, and aromatic herbs. This dish embodies the culinary essence of the Mediterranean, and learning to make it is a journey into the heart of French cuisine. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step guide to making Lou Fassum at home.


To create this delectable dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the Filling:
– 500 grams of ground beef and pork (mixed)
– 1 cup of rice
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs
– 1/4 cup of milk
– 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
– Salt and pepper to taste

For the Swiss Chard:
– 12-16 large Swiss chard leaves, washed and trimmed
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the Tomato Sauce:
– 800 grams of canned tomatoes, crushed
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 teaspoon of sugar
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Fresh basil leaves for garnish


– Large saucepan
– Mixing bowls
– Sharp knife
– Cutting board
– Wooden spoon
– Baking dish

Step 1: Prepare the Filling

Lou Fassum

1. Start by rinsing the rice under cold water and set it aside to drain.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, and grated Parmesan cheese.

3. In a separate small bowl, moisten the breadcrumbs with milk, and then add them to the meat mixture.

4. Add chopped parsley to the mixture, and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Gently mix all the ingredients together until well combined, forming a uniform filling.

Step 2: Blanch the Swiss Chard

Lou Fassum

1. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. This will be used to blanch the Swiss chard leaves.

2. Carefully place the Swiss chard leaves in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. This will help to soften them, making it easier to roll the filling inside.

3. After blanching, remove the Swiss chard leaves from the water and place them on a clean kitchen towel to drain and cool.

Step 3: Prepare the Swiss Chard Rolls

Lou Fassum

1. Take one blanched Swiss chard leaf, and place a spoonful of the meat and rice filling near the base of the leaf.

2. Roll the leaf around the filling, tucking in the sides as you go. This will form a compact roll.

3. Repeat this process with the remaining Swiss chard leaves and filling until you have created all your rolls.

Step 4: Create the Tomato Sauce

Lou Fassum

1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan. Sauté them until they become translucent and fragrant.

3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

4. Let the tomato sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes, allowing it to thicken and develop a rich flavor.

Step 5: Assemble and Cook

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

2. In a baking dish, spread a layer of the prepared tomato sauce.

3. Arrange the Swiss chard rolls on top of the sauce, seam side down.

4. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the Swiss chard rolls, ensuring they are well-covered.

5. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven.

6. Bake for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the Swiss chard rolls are tender, and the flavors have melded together.

Step 6: Serve and Garnish

Lou Fassum

1. Once cooked, remove the baking dish from the oven. The Lou Fassum should be aromatic and bubbling with delicious flavors.

2. To serve, carefully place a few Swiss chard rolls on each plate, and generously ladle the tomato sauce over them.

3. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for a touch of brightness and color.

Lou Fassum is traditionally served hot, and it pairs wonderfully with a side salad or a crusty baguette. Enjoy the robust flavors of this classic French dish, which brings together the earthiness of Swiss chard, the richness of the filling, and the zest of the tomato sauce.


Lou Fassum is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the south of France. The combination of ground meat, rice, Swiss chard, and a flavorful tomato sauce creates a comforting and satisfying meal that is both elegant and rustic. By following this step-by-step guide, you can recreate this delightful dish in the comfort of your own kitchen, taking your taste buds on a journey to the Mediterranean. So, roll up your sleeves, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure to savor the delights of Lou Fassum. Bon appétit!

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