Author Notes: Extremely tired recently, I considered ordering take-out but then reconsidered. I had all kinds of delicious, fresh food in the fridge and enjoy the challenge of putting it all together well. I didn't want to spend time on a stew, wasn't in the mood for soup or an egg-based dish, so thought a "strata" made of potatoes, chard, bacon and Gruyère would hit the spot. It did! - em-i-lis
- 2 medium purple potatoes, washed, not peeled, mandolined or extremely thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of chard, washed, stems removed and chopped into 1″ pieces, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 small leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons cream
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Butter or cooking spray a soufflé or round cooking dish (about 2 qt). Set aside. Preheat oven to 385.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon slices. When done, set them aside to drain on a paper towel and discard all but 1 T of rendered fat that remains in the skillet.
- In the skillet over medium-high heat, cook the leek and chard stems in the bacon fat. When soft (after 8 minutes or so), deglaze the pan with the cream, season with salt and fresh pepper, and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 4-5 minutes and then remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, move the mixture to a small mixing bowl. Reheat the skillet, add the butter and when it’s melted, saute the breadcrumbs until golden and lightly toasted. Remove from heat.
- In your prepared dish, place 1/3 of the mandolined potato rounds in an even layer. Spoon 1/2 of the leek-chard stem-cream mixture over the potatoes. Crumble half that bacon over that, and then put 1/2 the chopped chard leaves on top.
- Shave 6 ribbons of Gruyère on top and then repeat the layers, potatoes-leek/chard-bacon-chard leaves-Gruyère. Put a final layer of potatoes, spread on the toasted breadcrumbs and then shave some more Gruyère on top. Cover with foil and put in the oven. Bake 25-30 minutes, remove foil. Cook 4-5 minutes more, and serve.