Terrific in frittatas, soups and gratins, cooked Swiss chard is milder than spinach. You’ll recognize it by its showy good looks: Stem color ranges from white to orange to scarlet; the multicolored bunches marketed as “rainbow chard” are almost too pretty to cook.
Chard is a nutritional powerhouse. If vegetables got grades for nutrients, Swiss chard would be a valedictorian. It has impressive concentrations of vitamins A, C, E and K, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and zinc—the list goes on and on. Here it’s cooked with Yukon gold potatoes into fresh-tasting casserole. Topped with cheesy breadcrumbs, the gratin makes a perfect, healthful side dish for your Thanksgiving meal.
Chard and Potato Gratin
1 pound Swiss chard, ends trimmed, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, vertically sliced into thin strips (1 cup)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1. Rinse chard and place in large pot with water clinging to leaves. Add 1 cup water, cover and cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well.
2. Place potatoes in another large pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain.
3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add broth, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Preheat oven to 400F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan or shallow 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
5. Arrange half the potatoes in pan. Top with chard and half the sauce. Cover with remaining potatoes and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serves 6 to 8.
Per serving: 280 calories, 9g fat, 25mg chol., 8g prot., 43g carbs., 5g fiber, 770mg sodium
Photo credit: Teresa Blackburn