Rainbow Chard

Some foods that are good for you taste simply divine.  Swiss chard is most certainly one of them.  However it’s cooked, bring it on.  I’ll eat it.

We made this gratin with a combination of chard and spinach, though it could be easily made with all chard, kale (!), or any leafy green.  For no reason other than laziness, I pitched the chard stems and didn’t take the time to cook them and add them to the dish; however, they’d be a nice addition, and I bet I use them next time.  The Mornay sauce, while not exactly healthy and not exactly true to its name without parmesan, added a creamy texture and savory filling to the greens, and the panko added a perfectly crunchy topping.  The leftovers the next day were just as delicious as the night before.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch chard (Swiss, red, or rainbow) leaves, chopped
  • 9 oz. baby spinach, any tough stems removed
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the chard, spinach, and garlic in 2 or 3 batches.
  3. Place cooked leaves in a medium-sized gratin dish covered in cooking spray.
  4. For the Mornay sauce, in a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  5. When the butter is slightly bubbly, whisk in the flour until well combined.  Add the milk and whisk constantly until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  6. Whisk in 1/4 cup cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour the Mornay over the leaves as evenly as possible.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the panko over the Mornay.  Spray top with cooking spray or olive oil so it browns nicely.
  9. Bake about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.

Yields about 4 servings

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