Friday, August 1, 2008

Rainbow Swiss Chard, Fennel Gratin

You've heard me say it before but this is one I don't mind saying again: the great things about being part of this blog foodie community is how we all have the ability to inspire each other. The Wednesday Chef had a beautiful post about Alice Waters' Chard Gratin. After coming back from the farm/CSA with an armload of Rainbow Swiss Chard I decided to create my own version. I started out by caramelizing some onions, then added ingredients such as fennel, turnip and chard. The mixture was mixed in with soy yogurt and goat feta cheese and crowned by flavored corn tortilla crumbs. This tastes even better than it looks.

Chard and Fennel Gratin with a Corn Tortilla Topping (serves 6 as a side-dish)


2 cups Swiss Chard stems, coarsely sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 a large onion, finely chopped
1 cup of fresh fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup of baby turnips, finely diced
3 cups Swiss Chard greens, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup of plain soy yogurt or dairy sour cream
1/4 goat feta cheese, crumbled
salt to taste

For the topping:
3 corn tortillas (6"), torn into quarters
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon of chopped fennel greens


Steam the chard stems for about 10 minutes, then drain.
Saute the onions, stirring often, in a thick bottom pan at medium to low temperature until caramelized. They should be a beautiful golden, brown color. (takes 15-20 minutes)
Add fennel, garlic, turnip and continue cooking for five more minutes, stirring often. Then, add the stems and chard greens and cook for five more minutes.
Transfer mixture to a bowl.
In another bowl, mix together yogurt or sour cream with feta cheese. Combine cheese mixture with the vegetables and mix well. Check for salt, adjust to taste. Transfer to a pre-oiled gratin round dish.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a food processor, pulse all the tortilla topping ingredients together until mixture becomes a coarse meal (you don't want it too fine--see picture). Sprinkle evenly the topping on the vegetable mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until topping becomes nice and golden.


Krysta said...

thanks for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment. this looks really good, i can't wait to make it when it cools down, weather wise.

Helene said...

Merci de me visiter et ce plat a l'air succulent.

Elra said...

I love swiss chard, in fact my whole family love it too. Yours look very appetizing.

the answer to your question about my curry, to make suitable for young children, omit the chili powder and the whole dried chili. If you think your kid can handle the spiciness from the ginger, then you are okay, otherwise you can omit the ginger too. Good luck!

Alexa said...

You welcome. I am glad you liked this gratin. It is super yummy.

Avec plaisir. Votre site est tres bien. Je reviendrais.

Thank you for your reply. Yes I think my kids will be okay with the ginger. I'll try it. If it's still too much for them I guess there will be more for us adults.:-)

Alexa 2 said...

I am a major swiss chard afficionado and happen to have some in the fridge, so I made your great recipe with a couple of alterations made necessary by my unwillingness to do any more shopping today. It was a huge hit and I've had to restrain myself from diving into the casserole with a spoon. Thank you for your blog, it is now on my bookmark list with all the other food whore locations I frequent. Cheers!

cookinpanda said...

Hi Alexa, thank you for visiting my blog.

This is a creative twist on a traditional dish. I love it. I particularly like the idea of using yogurt as the "cream" factor.

Alexa said...

I'm so glad you could try and that it was hit. In case you have any leftovers, we used our leftovers the next day as a sauce for some brown rice pasta and it was sooo good. Enjoy!

Thanks for your visit and your comment!

Tartelette said...

Love swiss chard and this a great new way to try it. Well done!

Katie said...

I totally agree - inspiration is definitely one of the best thing about blogging. Besides friendly people, that is :)

Kevin said...

That looks good! I have been wanting to use Swiss chard more often.

Alexa said...

Merci! Et a bientot...

Are you back from your trip? You definitely qualify as one of those delightful, friendly people I have met through my blog!

I love Swiss Chard and I get a lot of it from the CSA. The french use it in a dessert as well in the south of France. I look forward to seeing what you might do with it... I am sure it will fantastic.

Monkee said...

I know what you mean about the foodie blog community inspiring one another. It's a fantastic way to keep creating and trying new unknown recipes.

amm said...

Thank you for this recipe! As I am not gluten-free I used Dave's Killer Bread (whole grain) for the topping, and a couple tablespoons of beer in the cheese mixture. I also beat four eggs together and added this to the cheese yogurt mixture. I imagine that some wine added instead of the beer might be a flavorful addition too. Because of the eggs I baked this dish for 45 minutes. I served it with white king salmon from a neighbor. Yum!

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