Cooking From Every Angle

Chard Gratin

By • June 7, 2013 • 17 Comments

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In Cooking from Every Angle, we hear from our fearless leaders: Food52 co-founders Amanda & Merrill.

Today: Amanda shows us a chard recipe from Nigel Slater's Tender that you can store in your arsenal from now through fall.

Chard and gratins were meant for each other. One is brisk and purist, the other mellow and indulgent. Together, you get the business and pleasure all in one. I prefer chard to spinach for its sweetness and generosity; spinach excites you with its color and volume, and then lets you down as soon as it cooks, wilting to nothingness. Chard keeps its promises, and offers up hardy stems for bonus points. 

I came across Nigel Slater's Chard Gratin through my friend Jacob Weisberg, the chairman of The Slate Group, who has become a devotee of Slater's book, Tender, ever since judging the book for our cookbook tournament, The Piglet. Slater's recipe is a great reminder of why gratins are such a staple and why detailed recipes for them are superfluous. A chard gratin is about bathing freshly wilted chard in warm cream and topping it with a blanket of cheese. The oven does the rest of the work. In Slater's version, he inserts one key twist -- he blends coarse grain mustard into the cream, giving the easy-going gratin a welcome kick in the pants. 

Let me show you how easy it is to make. First gather your 5 ingredients: chard, Parmesan, heavy cream, and mustard.

Wilt the chard stems and leaves -- don't forget to squeeze out the leaves -- and spread them in a buttered gratin dish.

Whisk mustard into cream. Pour this over the chard, just enough to soak it.

  

Sprinkle on the cheese.

Then toss it into a hot oven to gratinée.

Chard Gratin

From Tender by Nigel Slater

Serves 4 as a side

1 pound chard, stems and leaves
Salt
Butter, for the baking dish
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
A handful of grated parmesan

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

Tags: swiss chard, gratin, cooking from every angle

Comments (17)

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Sara_clevering

7 months ago sarabclever

I love this recipe (I have both Tender and Ripe and this was one of the first things I made). Who knew veggies could be so decadent!

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11 months ago SFoodGeek

I love the 'reworked' gratin idea, much simpler than making a bechamel. I wonder if the mustard is merely for flavor or if it also helps thicken the cream a bit- I worry that it could get runny. Love the finished photo- looks SOO delectable!

Photo-andreas

11 months ago Andreas

When I lived in the UK, Nigel Slater's recipe column was a highlight of my week. I am fairly certain I own every single book he's ever published.
This was delicious. Artery clogging for sure, but what the hell.

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11 months ago Summer of Eggplant

We made this Saturday. It totally stole the show from the steak that was sharing the plate.

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11 months ago Penny Dare

I live in Kansas, USA and I grow swiss chard in containers. Never had any problem. Perhaps you could try. I have 3 pots of swiss chard. Love this vegetable.

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11 months ago thebestcookingteacher

I tried this today. In my opinion there was waaaaay too much cream, as it never thickened and was left in the pan when I served the chard. The taste was great, but the chard was really lost in the translation. I would try Alice Water's recipe next time

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry you didn't love it. Since you liked the flavor, you could halve the cream next time or double the chard? Just a thought. Thanks for trying it out.

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11 months ago krusher

Oh we are singing from the same hymnal. Nigel Slater's books sit close to my kitchen and are well-worn. I have cooked this many times and it is divine. It is so easy to grow Swiss Chard in a home garden. I often serve this alongside a perfectly slow roasted leg of lamb with roughly mashed celeriac, potatoes and slow-roasted garlic.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Nice menu.

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11 months ago krusher

Thanks Amanda. It's winter here in Australia. Perfect weather for such fare.

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11 months ago zeidy

Great idea with the whole grain mustard!!! I will try this. Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Whole grain mustard doesn't get enough love in the kitchen. Let's change this.

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11 months ago _lotus

Yesss! Can't wait to try this. I was a little overzealous in planting chard in my garden this season, and I have a lot I need to do something with.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

At your service ... :)

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11 months ago Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

This looks amazing. I've never seen chard in the shops here in the UK unfortunately - despite the fact that spinach cooks away to nothing, I might have to use that instead!

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11 months ago _lotus

Becca, do you have anywhere you can do a container garden? You could definitely grow chard in a planter pot.