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. - Romeocucina —WeLike2Cook
Test Kitchen Notes
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. - wssmom —wssmom
- Serves 6
fresh Swiss chard
garlic cloves, crushed, and peeled
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.