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Shaun in TO

Here's another to keep on hand: David Tanis's Swiss Chard Gratin (with the stems)

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Joined: Mar 12, 2006

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Posted to Thread #11027 at 10:31 pm on Jun 13, 2008

This is rich but amazing. Doubly amazing with roast loin of pork.

Swiss Chard Gratin
Saveur #88

Trim the leaves from the white stems.

Stack and roll the leaves into a fat cigar, then slice crosswise into thin ribbons.

Trim the base from the stalks and cut away any brown spots. Cut stems into batons about 1/4 inch by 3 inches. Blanch batons in boiling salted water with a bay leaf for 4 or 5 minutes; drain in a colander and put in a bowl.

Quickly wilt the greens in a large sauté pan in 2 tbsp olive oil with 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. While chard is still bright green, turn it out into the colander.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Make a béchamel: in a heavy saucepan, stir 1/4 cup flour into 1 stick melted butter over medium-low heat. After about 3 minutes of constant stirring, increase heat to medium and whisk in 2 cups cold milk, a few spoonfuls at a time.

When the sauce turns to a spongy paste, add salt and pepper to taste and lots of freshly grated nutmeg. Cook the sauce, whisking, until it becomes as thick as a milk shake, about 15 minutes.

Rub butter over the inside of a big oval baking dish. Spread the chard leaves in the dish and top with the stems. Ladle on the béchamel, grate on more nutmeg, and sprinkle with about 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (or gruyère). Top with nubbins of butter, place on a baking sheet (to catch drips) and bake until bubbling and golden, about 20 minutes.


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