Turkey day is upon us, and while divas stick with the basics like Aunt Glo's stuffing and Polly's pecan pie, we love adding a new twist to the holiday buffet. 'Tis the Florida season for greens to flourish, and Swiss chard is one of our favorites – a super-model beauty with rich, dark greens leaves and the rainbow of reds, purples, and yellows in its stalks and veins.
Swiss chard is nutritious and full of fiber, and for our holiday buffets, we want a touch of indulgence, so this side dish adds butter, cream and cheese. What's not to love?
Creamy Swiss Chard Gratin
3 pounds Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and both cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook chard stems in pot of boiling water until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Add leaves and cook 10 seconds. Drain in a colander and cool, then squeeze out excess liquid. Spread in 2-quart shallow baking dish.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add cream and 1 cup of cheese, stirring until melted. Pour mixture over greens.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan; add panko and toss, then season with salt and pepper. Spread over chard and top with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden.
Diva confession: Swiss chard is really a type of beet – choose crisp bundles with dark green leaves, and the stems are considered by many to be the best-tasting part. This recipe is easy to play with: you can use spinach or other greens instead of chard, and add sautéed mushrooms, extra garlic, a little red pepper flakes.