Bright Lights Chard Gratin

by Deborah Madison from Local Flavors


2 lbs. Chard (you can also use spinach)             4 TBSP unsalted butter

1 onion finely chopped, (or 2 leeks sliced)         sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 cup bread crumbs                                          1 garlic clove minced

3 TBSP chopped fresh dill or parsley                1 TBSP flour

1 cup milk or a mix of cream and stock             1 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese


Separate the leaves and chard stems.  Wash thoroughly and coarsely chop the leaves and dice the stems into small pieces.  Melt half the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion has begun to brown a bit, about 20 minutes.  Add the chard (and/or spinach) leaves, season with salt and cook until wilted and tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 and lightly oil a 2-quart gratin dish.  Melt half the remaining butter in a small skillet and add the breadcrumbs, garlic, and fresh herbs.  Cook, stirring for about a minute, scrape the crumbs into a bowl and return the pan to the heat.  Melt the last TBSP of butter, stir in the flour, then whisk in the milk.  Simmer for 5 minutes, season with ½ tsp salt and add to the chard mixture.  Add the cheese, taste and adjust the seasonings.

Pour the chard mixture into the prepared dish and cover with the breadcrumbs.  Bake until heated through and golden on the surface, about 25 minutes.  Let settle a few minutes before serving.