Lasagna Filled with Swiss Chard Agro Dolce, Comte and Walnuts

December 19, 2015
Author Notes

The chard filling is adapted from Boston's own Ana Sortun, whose eponymous restaurant, Oleana, is an inspiration for all who dine there. The rest of the dish came together when I was thinking fondly of Steve Johnson's restaurant, Rendezvous, where I was introduced to many new things, Comte among them. I love its nuttiness, which invites the wanuts. The chard can be prepared several days in advance and ditto the cheeses and bread crumbs, which will give you a pretty quick assembly time. —LE BEC FIN

  • Serves 4
  • Agro Dolce Chard Filling
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard (red or raonbow), washed, dried, and stem ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup small-dice white onion
  • 4 flat anchovy fillets, mashed with fork
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins or currants
  • 1-2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Lasagna Assembly
  • 12-16 ounces fresh Lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound Comte cheese chopped up in small cubes(or crumbled chevre
  • 2/3 cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ~ 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup Ground Parmesan
  • ~ 1/4- 1/2 cup Dry Whole wheat bread crumbs, pan- toasted with a little unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces Chopped , cold, unsalted butter
In This Recipe
  1. Tear or slice the chard stems from the leaves. Coarsely chop the stems and set aside. Grasp a handful of leaves and roll up tightly, lengthwise. Cut the leaves crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium large pan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, anchovies, and raisins and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Add the capers and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the reserved chard stems and cook until they start to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook, stirring, until they’re wilted, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.
  3. Unless the pasta is semi-transparently thin, blanch the noodles a few minutes (to al dente) in salted boiling water; lift out and into colander;rinse briefly in cold running water and dry on cloth towels.
  4. In a well- buttered or sprayed 9 x 13 inch ceramic dish, lay down one layer of noodles, overlapping slightly. Top with half the cooked chard mix. Spread out evenly to edges of pan.Lay down a second pasta layer, slightly overlapping, in the opposite direction from the first layer. Scatter half the cheese, half the breadcrumbs, and half the walnuts, and drizzle with heavy cream. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Top with another overlapping layer of noodle and the remaining chard mix.. Top with the last pasta, the remaining comte, bread crumbs and walnuts.
  6. Drizzle liberally with heavy cream. Sprinkle a little fresh ground black pepper and ground parmesan on top. Dot with unsalted butter.
  7. Cover the lasagna very loosely with buttered or sprayed parchment paper or foil and bake in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the lasagna is bubbling and top is browned in spots. Tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.