I love greens and this is the first year I have planted any type of chard. I chose rainbow chard, a colorful form of swiss chard. I guess the weather and my soil have been perfect for it, it is coming in really strong. We have been eating it in one form or another twice a week for the past few weeks. This weekend I made a Rainbow Chard Gratin based on the Provençal Swiss Chard Gratin from Martha Rose Shulman’s “Mediterranean Harvest”, one of my ‘go to’ cookbooks.
Picked the chard in the morning and kept it fresh in a vase of water on the counter – it was so pretty! I am sorry I did not take a picture…next time. This dish used about 2 pounds of chard – that is A LOT of leaf! But it still didn’t make a dent in my harvest.
Rainbow Chard Gratin
2 pounds chard (swiss or rainbow) (from the garden)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced (use whatever size onion you prefer, I used 1/2 a large onion because my kids pick it out)
3 Tbsp minced garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)
3/4 cup grated Gruyere (you can use swiss)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (from the garden)
1/2 cup small grain brown rice, cooked
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (from the garden)
2 Tbsp bread crumbs
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. While it is heating, clean the chard and strip the leaves, save the stalks. Wash the leaves and the stalks in several rinses of water. When the pot of water boils, add 1 Tbsp salt and the chard leaves (not the stalks). Blanch for 2 minutes and remove with a spider to an bowl of ice water. Drain, squeeze out the excess water and chop medium.
Trim both ends off the chard and dice.
Heat the oven to 375F and brush a 2 quart shallow baking dish with olive oil or olive oil spray.
Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring til tender, ~3 minutes. Add the diced chard stalks and a little salt, cook, stirring often til the stalks are just tender, ~5 minutes.
Add the garlic, stir for another minute then add the chard leaves.
Stir together for just 30 seconds, just to blend and coat the leaves with oil. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, stir in the chard, cheese, parsley, rice and thyme. Stir together, taste and add additional seasoning to taste. Transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle on the last Tbsp of oil. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until firm and browned on top.
Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. The gratin can be served warm or at room temperature.
This is a colorful dish with wonderful flavors and textures, thank you Martha Rose!