Thursday, August 26, 2010

market chard in a dish

I've been testing new recipes this week - with mixed results. It is mainly operator error - yesterday's zucchini feta bake suffered from a type of zucchini with a very thick skin which I didn't peel off and which resulted in a chewy supper and a mound of zucchini peels on the sides of our plates last night. Tonight's trial was more successful. I adapted a recipe for stuffed swiss chard gratin from Homemaker magazine.

Here is how I made it - Swiss Chard Gratin w leek and pancetta

2 bunches of swiss chard
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 medium leeks, sliced into half moons
4 slices of pancetta, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large baking potatoes, boiled and mashed
dash of cayenne
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2/3 c parmesan crumbles

1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2 1/4 c milk
grated fresh nutmeg
1/3 c parmesan crumbles

1/3 c grated gruyere cheese

Cut the stalks off the chard at the bottom of the leaves. In a pot of salted water, boil the stems for 8 minutes and remove with tongs and drain. Into the same water, cook the chard leaves for 2 minutes and then take off the heat and drain. Meantime heat the oil in a saute pan, add the onion, leek and pancetta and cook until soft. Add the chopped cooked stems and the mashed potatoes, pepper, cayenne, mustard and parmesan and mix well.
Make the bechamel sauce by adding the butter, flour and milk to a saucepan. Whisk together and heat until boiling. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg, pepper and parmesan.
Grease a 9x13 casserole and lay 1/2 the chard leaves on the bottom to cover the dish. Spread the potato mixture over the chard leaves evenly and cover with the rest of the chard leaves. Pour the sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle the grated gruyere over the top. Bake at 400 deg F for 40-45 minutes until bubbly and browned. Enjoy! We both found this delicious and it smells wonderful while baking (baking cheese always smells delicious!)

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