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Joe

REC: Garlicky Chard Gratin. This is a good recipe for large mature chard. It uses both the stalks

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Posted to Thread #2082 at 9:17 pm on May 27, 2006

and the leaves. I've never pureed it; I just be sure to chop it well at first. This was delicious last night with roast chicken and creamy garlic mashed potatoes.

CHARD GRATIN
<i>Gratin de Blettes</i>

from <i>Lulu's Provencal Kitchen</i> by Richard Olney

2 pounds Swiss chard
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. flour
A handful coarse dry bread crumbs (I use fresh)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Separate the green leafy parts of the chard from the thick ribs. Wash and drain each separately. Trim the ribs and cut into large dice. Cook the ribs in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add the greens and stir with a wooden spoon until the water returns to a boil. As soon as the greens are completely limp--a few seconds after the boil is reached--empty the pot into a colander and refresh the chard under cold water. Squeeze the mass of chard repeatedly in both hands to form a firm ball. (I squeeze it in a towel.) Chop it, slicing thin, give the ball a quarter turn and slice thin again.

Heat 2 tbs. of the oil and most of the butter in a skillet. Add garlic, and when the air is filled with its scent but before it begins to color, add the chard, salt and pepper. Stir over heat until it has lost all superficial moisture, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour, stir well, and begin to add the milk, a little at a time, over a period of about 20 minutes, stirring and waiting until the chard absorbs each addition before adding more.

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

Process the mixture rapidly to form a coarse puree (I skip this step). Use the rest of the butter to coat a gratin dish. Pour the mixture into the dish and top with the crumbs. Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden.

Olney's notes: Lulu serves this often with roast meats, but also as a base on which to bake a boneless 2 to 3-inch-thick section of fish such as cod, monkfish, grouper or halibut, bread crumbs and olive oil sprinkled over the fish as well as the chard's surface, counting 20 to 30 minutes in the oven, depending on the thickness of the fish. As with all her baked fish, a slice of butter is placed on top to melt upon removing it from the oven. Lulu often adds a handful of stemmed, shredded raw sorrel leaves to the skillet along with the chopped chard.


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