Swiss Chard Gratin

By • August 30, 2011 • 5 Comments

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Author Notes: Gratins originated in Provencal French cuisine and are usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. The word “gratin” is a derivative of the French word meaning crust or skin. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish. The delicious rustic flavor of Swiss chard works perfectly in gratins. The It matches wonderfully with roasted or grilled meat and fish dishes. - RomeocucinaWeLikeToCook

Food52 Review: Romeocucina's Swiss Chard Gratin is one holiday side dish that’s not loaded down with cream and cheese. Instead, the flavor of the chard is allowed to shine through, buoyed by a pinch of nutmeg (don't leave it out!), and complemented by a wonderfully crisp topping. The only thing we did differently was to watch the gratin carefully after we popped it in the oven; it only took about 10 minutes, not 30, for the topping to turn nice and golden. I could have eaten it right out of the pan before putting it in the food processor (well, OK, I did sample some). The resultant texture of the dish was well-received by our panel of taste-testers, from the picky teen to the picky father-in-law. It will be on our table this Thanksgiving. - wssmomwssmom

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds fresh Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed, and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Wash and drain the leaves. Separate the green leafy parts of the chard from the thick ribs, and then trim the ribs and chop them into 1/2” pieces. Cook the ribs in a large pot of salted, boiling water for 10 minutes, then add the greens and stir with a wooden spoon until the water returns to a boil. As soon as the greens are completely limp empty the chard into a colander and refresh with cold running water. Squeeze the mass of chard to remove as much water as possible; we roll them in an old bath towel.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Place dried mound of chard on a cutting board and chop it thin, then give the ball a quarter of a turn and chop thin again. In a heavy sauté pan, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil and most of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the crushed garlic and cook until sizzling but before it begins to color, add the chopped chard, salt, and pepper. Stir regularly with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes, or until the chard has lost all visible moisture. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir well, then begin adding the milk a little at a time. Stir with each addition and wait until the chard absorbs all the milk before adding more.
  3. Using a food processor, pulse the mixture rapidly to form a coarse puree. Pour the chard mixture into a buttered gratin dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and Parmesan if desired and drizzle with olive oil then bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
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Tags: make ahead, savory, Versatile

Comments (5) Questions (0)

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27 days ago Incognito

Lulu Peyraud did something fascinating with her Chard Gratin which you may want to try. She recommended placing a thick slice of white fish on top of the uncooked gratin, covering it with breadcrumb and olive oil topping (no cheese) and cooking it for 20-30 minutes at 350 degerees depending on the size and thickness of the fish. I tried this recently with a piece of halibut and it was divine; the fish was perfectly cooked and the chard gratin was bubbling away underneath. When Mme. Peyraud pulled the dish from the oven she put some fresh butter on top of the fish - also a delicious addition. I would probably omit the nutmeg if making the gratin with the fish.

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over 1 year ago pvanhagenlcsw

This is better than creamed spinach!! I did brown a few slices of bacon that had to used soon in something tasty like this and I also added an onion to that saute.

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almost 2 years ago fearlessem

Loved this! Just made it tonight and it was super delicious, and that tiny bit of nutmeg did really bring the flavors out. My new favorite use of swiss chard!

Jan2013cropped

about 3 years ago WeLikeToCook

Our most humble thanks to wssmom for the wonderful review! We are so glad you liked the gratin and that you think it as delicious as we do. The nutmeg really does make the dish! @Antonia - enjoy!

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The simplicity of understated dishes like this makes them elegant. Love it! Definitely making it this week. ;o)