Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 pounds young red or green chard
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 oz grated Gruyere or Cheddar cheese (optional)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash the chard and cut off the thick ends of the stems. Parboil the chard for 1 1/2 minutes in lightly salted boiling water. Drain, squeeze out the water from the leaves, and chop them into 3/4 inch pieces. Peel the garlic and chop it very fine.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, nonreactive skillet and add the chard. Turn the chard in the butter as it begins to wilt, add the garlic, and continue cooking slowly, uncovered, for 7 or 8 minutes, until the leaves have begun to soften. Warm the milk in a small saucepan.
- Sprinkle the flour over the chard and stir to distribute the flour evenly. Cook for 1 minute more and then begin to slowly add the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time. Continue adding the milk in small amounts as it is absorbed by the chard until the milk is completely incorporated.
- Season with a light grating of nutmeg, salt and pepper; transfer to a buttered gratin dish. The layer of chard should be about 1 inch thick. Cover evenly with the bread crumbs and bake for 35 minutes, until the crumbs have browned nicely.
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