PHOTO: Karista Bennett
Karista Bennett
May 6, 2016

This is the time of year my garden begins to overflow with gorgeous leafy greens that are ready to be used in sautés, salads, rice bowls, egg dishes and other delicious recipes.

Swiss chard is a tall leafy green that belongs to the same family as beets and spinach. It tastes similar to spinach, which makes it an excellent substitute in cooked dishes. However, it doesn’t cook down quite as much as spinach, and it omits less water, making it a meatier option for sautés and gratins.

This gorgeous Creamed Swiss Chard makes a delightful side dish to any meal. It’s especially complimentary to grilled meat or fish or prepared in individual dishes for a light lunch or brunch. For a one-dish meal, I like to add diced ham to the recipe.

I’ve paired this recipe with leeks, however shallots work just as well. And on occasion when I’m out of both leeks and shallots, a yellow onion will do the job.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 leeks, trimmed just as the light green turns to dark green, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed and diced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, or about 2 pounds, stems removed (I save the stems for stock or soup), leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix together the panko bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.

In a large, oven-safe sauté pan or skillet, add the butter and olive oil to the pan, and place the pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and oil is hot, add the chopped leeks and fresh Italian parsley, and sauté until wilted and slightly golden. Then stir in the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer.

With tongs, add the chopped Swiss chard in batches to the pan and toss with the leeks, continuing to toss the greens and leeks gently, until all the greens are in the pan and wilted. Sprinkle with the grated nutmeg and season with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Pour the heavy cream into the pan, and gently toss with the greens. Sprinkle the panko parmesan mixture overtop of the creamed Swiss chard, and then place the pan in the oven.

Let the creamed Swiss chard bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sides are bubbly and the cream has thickened. Set the pan under the broiler for just a few minutes to toast the panko-parmesan mixture.

Remove from the oven, and let the creamed Swiss chard sit for about 5 minutes before serving.


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