Michael Symon’s Swiss Chard and Leek Gratin

I made this amazing side dish last Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. This recipe was published in Food and Wine magazine and will surely please all your guests. Nutty Gruyere and salty Parmesan cheeses complete the milk sauce that envelops the hearty Swiss chard and sweet leeks. If you can’t find the vegetables listed in the recipe, feel free to substitute spinach or kale for the Swiss chard and regular onions for the leeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 10-12

3 pounds Swiss chard, large stems discarded

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

6 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, sliced 1/4″ thick

Salt

3 garlic cloves, minced

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1 quart whole milk

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper

 

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the chard in batches until wilted, about 1 minutes. Drain the chard, squeeze dry and chop it.

Heat the oil in the same empty pot. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring until tender, 7 minutes. Uncover, add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the chard, season with salt and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 10X15 inch baking dish. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour over moderate heat to form a paste. Gradually whisk in one-third of the milk and cook, whisking, until the mixture starts to thicken. Repeat two more times with the remaining milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking often, until thickened and no floury taste remains, 15 minutes. Whisk in the cheeses and the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper. Mix the sauce into the leeks and chard. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown on top. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead: The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperate before baking.

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