Gratin, it can be a decadent dish of cheese and cream mixed in with some vegetables. Or it can be as simple as layers of vegetables with some cream to steam them under a covered dish in the oven. This dish was the later. I was craving vegetables but wanted something warm, and a little on the light side. Layering potatoes, swiss chard and onions turned into an inspired dish.
Clearly a cousin to scalloped potatoes, which were a regular feature at the Just Food Co-op hot bar when I was deli manager, I left out the cheese and simply added the cream to help steam the layers. It was divine! Imagine the natural juices of potato, Swiss Chard and onions mingling with a touch of cream and salt and pepper and you have this delicious dish.
Sure adding cheese and a bread crumb topping would have gussied this up, but when you’re in the mood for warm veggie delight, check your crisper bin and make something like this. The only trick is to make sure the slices of potato are as thin as you can get them – I used my trusted Wusthof chef’s knife and it was a cinch!
I have always known that good knives are essential for simplifying cooking, but after reading (devouring!) my gift from Ruth of Once Upon a Feast, Knife Skills in the Kitchen, I really honed (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!) how to use my trusted chef’s knife. It’s a great read and you will be surprised how much you learn even if you think you are an experienced knife wielder!
Swiss Chard, Onion and Potato Gratin
1 large bunch Swiss Chard, washed and cut in ribbons (tough ribs removed)
1 onion, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
1 large red potato (man’s fist size) or 2 medium, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
1/4 cup cream (or use whole milk)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay half of potatoes on bottom of casserole dish with a lid, overlapping lightly; salt lightly. Sprinkle 1/2 of sliced onions over potatoes. Layer half of Swiss Chard over onions and repeat, remembering to salt potatoes. Finish with Swiss Chard on top. Salt top layer lightly and grind lots of pepper over all. Drizzle cream or milk over top of Swiss chard and cover and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving (it will be supremely hot!)
Recipes currently inspiring me: