Monday, October 06, 2008

Chard gratin

I should have weighed the chard before I cooked it. All I can tell you is that it was an organic bagful. The creme fraiche (Rachel's Organic) came in a tub with the quantity given by weight rather than by volume. Serves 2 to 3. The sauce may be a little runny, and need mopping up with bread or rice.

Bagful of chard
100g creme fraiche
4 heaped tbsp Gruyere
Scrapings of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C. Warm a gratin dish.

Wash the chard, and strip off the leaves. Cook them as you would spinach, tipping them (wet) into a saucepan, covering it, putting it on a high heat, giving the leaves a minute or so to start wilting, and then stirring them until they are all wilted. Drain immediately.

Chop the stalks into fork-size lengths. I put them in a saucepan with a little water (about 50ml) and a knob of butter, cover the pan, cook for five minutes, and then cook uncovered until the stalks have a buttery glaze. Some, thick-stalked chard requires longer cooking than this: I have known stalks take 20 minutes to become tender.

Squeeze the liquid from the chard leaves, chop them, and put them into the pan with the stalks. Add the creme fraiche (you could use ordinary cream, of course), cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste (remember the saltiness of the cheese), and mix.

Tip the mixture into the warmed gratin dish, and bake for five to 10 minutes, until bubbling.

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