Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

I have read many recipes for Swiss Chard or Silverbeet gratin, where the prominent ingredient is the stalk, rather than the rich green leaves.  I recently stumbled upon this recipe that I thought I would try, because it includes some of the leaves as well.  I was so thrilled with the end result, I cooked it again a couple of days later.

This gratin really is very easy to make, and the end result is a delicious cheesy gratin with the stalks providing texture, the leaves, colour, and both contributing to the wonderful flavour.

Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

The stalks of Swiss Chard make a gratin that is delicious and delicate in flavour, and pairs beautifully with a roast. Equally it can be served as a light meal with a fresh green salad on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • Stalks from a large bunch of chard, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced.
  • 4 chard leaves, thinly shredded
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml full-cream milk
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 30 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil and half the butter.
  3. Add the onion and chard stalks, place the lid on and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onion softens.
  4. Stir in the flour, and cook for a 1 minute over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer until the sauce has thickened. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Stir in the chard leaves and cook for another minute or two until the leaves have wilted a little.
  6. Then stir in the Parmesan and the cream, then pour into a greased gratin dish.
  7. Mix the topping ingredients together and scatter over the top of the gratin. Dot with the remaining butter.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.

Notes:

  • This gratin can also be popped under the grill ’til golden and crispy, if short on time or oven space.
  • For a gluten free version, simply replace the flour with the same amount of gluten free flour blend.
  • Adapted from Easy Vegetarian One Pot, 2011, R Woods (ed), p159

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Links:

Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

Gluten Free Four Blend

Swiss Chard

Reunions

You may have seen that we recently attended our little grandson’s second birthday, which was a wonderful day. The party was hosted by Cooper’s parents, Chris and Cin, at Cin’s parents’, Mike and Chris, home. While we were there, Mike showed, and told us about some smallgoods he had been making at classes in Melbourne, and was very generous, giving us a pack, with four salamis in it, as we left.

I couldn’t wait to taste them – they were delicious, so started to think of ways I could use them in my cooking. I have made three dishes, one was just a Braised Cabbage with Shallot and Salami, then a Antipasto Tart to share with my sisters and cousin, and finally, for me was a great combination – a dish of Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli with Scallops with Salami and Pea Puree.

It is always so rewarding to share your own produce with family and friends. It is also so exciting to receive wonderful homemade produce to play with in the kitchen as well, isn’t it?

Unfortunately my sisters, cousin and I had to travel to our hometown of Navarre to attend the funeral of an elderly friend and neighbour. However, it did give us the opportunity to visit our lovely mum who hasn’t been so well of late. We also had some “girl” time together, sharing meals around the family table, as well as a lot of reminiscing and catching up. Jan had cooked lamb with lots of veg, including silverbeet from the garden, for our dinner, Sonnie had brought along a garlic pide which they used to mop up the sauce from the Green Beans Braised in Tomato that I had added to the table, and for dessert I had made a Cherry Clafoutis.  The next morning, again, Jan had things all organized with some beautiful local produce, so we had bacon and poached eggs.

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It is a little sad that funerals also become reunions of sorts. A gathering of people with a common link – a special person who brings them all together for one last time as they bid their cherished family member or friend good bye. While a sad occasion, it is also time to renew old aquaintances, try to work out who that person is that looks so familiar, but you just can’t put a name to the face. Time to reminisce and catch up on old times and new.

Finally we said our good-byes and began the long drive home. My sister, Sonya and I had a mission, we needed manure for our garden. The weather was very wet, the rivers, creeks and gutters were all running quite high, but very early on in the trip we managed to load 5 large bags of sheep manure and 4 of horse manure into the back of Sonnie’s wagon (unfortunately there was not enough room for any more). You can imagine that aroma was not exactly roses in the car for the rest of the journey – sorry, Sandra…  At Sonnies, we transferred my share of the manure to my car, together with the asparagus, rhubarb and the rest of my belongings, and I continued the journey back to Maffra. Six hours after we left Navarre, I arrived home to an open fire and a glass of wine, thank you to my wonderful husband.

(Unfortunately there is an issue with my site with regard to iPad viewing, we are currently working on this and hope to have it resolved very soon.)

Until next time

Bon appétit!

Links:

Braised Cabbage with Shallot and Salami

Antipasto Tart

Cherry Clafoutis

Green Beans Braised in Tomato

Blind Baking

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