Potato Gratin with Swiss Chard is for Wintertime

Potato gratin is one of those preparations that speaks to people.  When a gratin comes out of the oven it is one of the most inviting foods.  It’s also a dish perfect for winter. Swiss chard developed from the beet and was first mentioned in a book about plants published in Basel, Switzerland in 1596. Perhaps that’s why it’s called Swiss chard. No one really knows. Swiss chard keeps better than spinach, but should be treated the same way.  Look for crisp, dark green leaves without any wilting or blemishes.  Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use within two days.  Mediterranean cooks usually separate the leaves from the stems and cook them separately, too, for different preparations such as soups or purée into dips.

Potato Gratin with Swiss Chard
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is a perfect winter dish made with thin slices of potato that form the bottom of a kind of pie filled with Swiss chard cooked with bacon and salt pork and then covered with another layer of sliced potatoes before being baked.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds Swiss chard, leaves only
  • 1 ounce slab bacon, chopped
  • ½ ounce salt pork, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One 1-pound baking potato, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch thick slices
  • 2 ounces Gruyère cheese or vacherin cheese, sliced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the Swiss chard leaves until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain well and chop. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. Preheat to oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet, cook the bacon and salt pork over medium-low heat until beginning to get crispy, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it is sizzling then remove all to the bowl with the Swiss chard and season with salt.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet and once it melts arrange half of the sliced potatoes, slightly overlapped in a spiral covering the entire bottom of the skillet. Salt lightly. Spoon the Swiss chard on top of the potatoes, spreading it around to cover all the potatoes. Salt lightly. Arrange the remaining potatoes in an overlapped spiral covering the Swiss chard completely. Salt lightly. Arrange the cheese on top of the potatoes, dot with the remaining butter and pour the cream over everything.
  5. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes then cut into wedges for serving.

 

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