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Rainbow Chard Gratin

2 pound chard, including half of the stems

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup fresh bread crumbs (or crouton size cubes of bread)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons dill or parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup milk or cream or a mixture of cream and stock

1 cup crumbled fresh goat chees


Separate the leaves and chard stems.  Wash the leaves in plenty of water, then coarsely chop them.  Trim the ragged edges off the stems, wash them, well, then dice them into small pieces.

Melt half the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has begun to brown a bit, about 20 minutes.  Add the chard leaves, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, and cook until they're wilted and tender, another 10 minutes

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a 2-quart gratin dish.  Melt half the remaining butter in a small skillet and add the bread crunbs, garlic and dill.  Cook, stirring for about a minute, then scrape the crumbs into a bowl and return the pan to the heat.

Melt the last tablespoon of butter, stir in the flour, then whisk in the milk.  simmer for 5 minutes, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and add to the chard mixture.  Add the cheese, then taste the mixture, correct for salt and season with pepper.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and cover with the bread crumbs.  Bake until heated through and golden on the surface, about 25 minutes.  Let settle a few minutes before serving.


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