Swiss chard gratin

August 1, 2006

Right. No waffle.You’re heading for veg box melt-down. All you’ve got in the kitchen is milk, butter, cheese, flour and bucket-loads of thick-stemmed Swiss chard, rapidly losing it’s squeak. I’ve got just the recipe, if you’ll step this way.

Swiss chard gratin

Put the oven on medium. Have a shallow gratin-dish of some sort on stand-by.

1. Make a thickish bechamel sauce. Make it properly for a change – add bay leaf, parsley stalks, perhaps an onion studded with cloves to the warmed milk. Stir it over a low heat for a good 20 minutes to get rid of the floury taste. Add a few tablespoons of thick cream at the end to make it gleam. If you like, you can follow this recipe.

Perhaps you’ll want to customise the sauce – I added a teaspoon of mustard and a small amount of grated cheddar.

2. Remove the stalks of the chards from the leaves. Chop the stalks into 2 inch lengths and blanch in boiling water until almost tender. Drain. Shred the remaining leaves and cook in the water that clings to them – when they wilt, add the stalks. Season and add some grated nutmeg, if that’s your bag. Drain well – too much liquid is the enemy of a good gratin.

3. Put a layer of sauce in the gratin dish, then plonk the swiss chard on top, and cover with the remaining sauce. Dot with butter. Bung in the oven and leave to cook until it has brown bubbling patches on top.

Eat with peasant bread and a glass of plonk.

Bob’s your uncle.

5 Responses to “Swiss chard gratin”

  1. newforestgrrrl Says:

    My favourite swiss chard recipe is the chard and parmesan omelette from Leith’s Vegetarian Bible – has become a bit of a staple in the last few weeks. Simply sautee the leaves in butter and add some freshly grated nutmeg, then add to the omelette with the grated cheese. Very tasty! Love your blog – am inspired to griddle tonight… And enjoy your trip to Riverford – we visited in June and had a wonderful dinner in the field kitchen.

  2. gastropunk Says:

    newforestgrrrl, good call on the chard omlette. i’ll dust off the family edition of Leith’s bible and try this out. guess you’d need to eat a lot of these omelettes to use up a single Riverford delivery of chard – it’s the kind of veg that pushes a cook’s resourcefulness to the limit…

  3. jmart Says:

    excellent recipe! i steamed a mittful of sage and garlic in the milk before making the bechamel sauce. the result was a pretty memorable veggie main course for our (canadian) thanksgiving dinner. this year i was thankful for a certain veg box blog in addition to everything else!

  4. gastropunk Says:

    jmart, happy thanksgiving! thanks for letting us know you liked the recipe…

  5. teresa Says:

    I googled for a swiss chard gratin recipe and found yours. I’ll be trying it tonight with chard I got from the farmer’s market [such a lovely vegetable and it keeps for ages in the fridge if need be]. My Swiss granny used to cook chard like this and it was lovely so I have high hopes. Incidentally, 1st August [the date of your post] is the Swiss National Day. Coincidence?

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