Swiss Chard Au Gratin
Loved even by children who declare “I hate chard!”, this combines the soft freshness of the cooked greens with the salty, garlicy crunch of homemade bread crumbs.
- 2 bunches of Swiss Chard (you can substitute spinach or kale)
- ½ cup +/- butter
- olive oil
- 1 large onion
- ½ cup dry white wine (or stock of choice)
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- large pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups cubed bread (I used the Red Hen Seeded Baguette)
- 1 large garlic clove
- ½ cup grated cheese (von Trapp’s Savage Organic or other hard cheese)
Fresh and Other Pantry Ingredients: butter, olive oil, onion, wine, flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter/oil a 9 x 9 baking dish or pie pan
- Wash chard and remove stems and center spines. Chop leaves and stems separately. Dice onion. Set aside.
- Chop your favorite bread into approximately ¼ inch cubes. You will need approximately 2 cups.
- In a heavy skillet or fry pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the cubed bread and cook, over medium heat. Part way through the cooking process add pressed or minced garlic, salt and pepper. It is done when the bread is lightly browned and crispy. Remove the bread from the pan and set aside.
- Melt a bit of butter and/or olive oil in the same fry pan. Add the diced onion and chopped chard stems and cook until limp, about 5 minutes. Add white wine or stock and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Add chopped chard leaves and cook, covered, until wilted, about 3 – 4 minutes more. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Using your same pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour and use a whisk to thoroughly combine. Gradually add 1 cup of milk, a few tablespoons at a time, until you have a thickened white sauce. Add a bit of nutmeg (freshly grated is best), salt and pepper and half of the grated cheese. Mix thoroughly. Next, stir in the cooked chard and onions.
- Pour chard mixture into the buttered baking dish, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese and top with bread crumbs, gently pressing them into the chard mixture with the palm of your hand.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.