Winter Greens and Apple Gratin

October  7, 2014
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 5 to 6
Author Notes

We’ve been enjoying a windfall of gorgeous beets in our CSA box, and I’ve started making pasta with blanched beet greens and stems to use up every bit of the vegetable. With pasta, beet greens and stems as the constant, each week I change up the additions; about a month ago, I added red wine, anchovies and diced and peeled eggplant to rave reviews from the family. More recently, I paired the greens and pasta with diced apple, Dijon, and chopped walnuts which was the inspiration for this gratin. This is lovely with roasted meat or fish, such as pork or salmon. —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • 1 1 big bunch of beet greens with stems (save the beets for another use - like beet cake!)
  • 1 to 12 bunches of some other kind of winter greens, such as collards, kale, Swiss chard, or beet greens (you could even use some dandelion greens) stems removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Fuji apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup vermouth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Get an ice bath ready in a large heat-proof bowl.
  2. Separate long stems from beet greens. Wash all greens thoroughly (seriously, look for the dirt!) and place in a colander.
  3. Blanch greens in a large pot of salted boiling water in batches, starting with beet stems or a tougher green like collards or larger leaves and cook accordingly (roughly 2 minutes for stems or tougher leaves, about a minute for smaller, more tender leaves). Remove stems or greens with tongs in batches and plunge into ice bath. Repeat until all greens are blanched, adding more ice to the ice bath if necessary.
  4. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch skillet. Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for a minute or two before adding garlic. Stir and cook for another minute before adding diced apple. Cook a few minutes more until onion is translucent, apple starts to release juices and mixture is fragrant.
  5. Add vermouth and cook, stirring until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add Dijon, Worcestershire, and heavy cream, stirring between additions. After the cream, taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Remove pan from heat.
  7. While apple-cream mixture is cooling, with clean hands, remove greens by the handful from ice bath and thoroughly squeeze out water. Squeeze beet stems separately. Chop squeezed greens and beet stems.
  8. Ladle enough apple-onion-cream mixture into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate to just cover the bottom.
  9. Arrange chopped greens in pie plate, using fingers to slightly fluff and unfurl compacted greens. Evenly spread out apple-onion-cream mixture (solids first and top entire mixture with liquid) on top of greens. Top with chopped walnuts and finally gruyere cheese. Press down on walnuts and cheese with the back of a spoon.
  10. Place pie dish on a baking sheet and bake gratin for 20 to 22 minutes, until bubbling and top is golden. Allow gratin to cool a bit before serving. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • gingerroot
  • Judy Nelson
    Judy Nelson
  • Jennifer

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

4 Reviews

Judy N. October 5, 2019
This looks good! I think there might be a typo in the ingredients. It reads "1 to 12 bunches of some other kind of winter greens". This must mean "1-2 bunches"?
gingerroot October 5, 2019
Hi Judy! Yes, good catch. 1-2 bunches. Hope you enjoy it if you try this.
Jennifer February 20, 2017
Could something without alcohol be substituted for the vermouth? I'm giving a dinner party and various guests avoid alcohol (for health and/or religious reasons). I know most of alcohol cooks off, but I try to respect my guests' restrictions (which is why most of my usual gratins are off limits--they tend to have bread crumbs or flour, and I also have GF guests).
gingerroot February 20, 2017
Hi Jennifer! You could use something like sparkling apple cider or just vegetable broth. Since it is only 1/4 cup I'm guessing the finished results would be very similar. I've actually never tried this recipe using those substitutions so let me know how it turns out!