Swiss Shard Gratin : Gratin de Blettes : LCB at Home : Lesson 4 : Part 3

I've never done anything with Swiss Chard before. There's two types: Green and Red (the color of the stem); I chose green.

This is as healthy as can be. Veggies, but with béchamel and crème fraiche to balance the goodness of the primary ingredient.


Swiss Shard Gratin : Gratin de Blettes

Serves: 8


  • 1 kilo Swiss Chard [2#]

  • 1/2 kilo mushrooms (sliced) [1#]
  • butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • crème fraiche, a little

  • béchamel, a light one
  • crème fraiche, a little more

  • crème fraiche, yet more
  • gruyere cheese, grated


  1. Separate stems and leaves of the chard
    • Rinse the leaves; then blanch in salted boiling water - 2 minutes - drain
    • peel the stalks with a potato peeler to remove the worst of the strings (like celery)
    • Cut stalks to 5 cm lengths [2"] - cook for 10 minutes (until tender but still with some crunch) - drain

  2. Sauté the sliced mushrooms in a little butter until the water's all gone
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  3. Add a 1/4 C of crème fraiche and reduce until saucy

  4. Make a light béchamel
    • do a roux of 2 T butter and 1/4 C flour - stir it around for 2 minutes
    • add 1¾ C milk and cook until thickened (think... thick ketchup)
    • add nutmeg, pepper, salt for flavour (don't be shy about it either) - remove from the heat
    • Add a 1/2 C crème fraiche to the béchamel

  5. Squeeze the chard leaves until quite dry, chop randomly
  6. Add 1/3 of the béchamel to the chard leaves and stir
  7. In another bowl, add another 1/3 of the béchamel to the chard stalks and stir
  8. Taste both and add salt (and/or pepper) as needed (it probably will)

  9. Assemble the casserole:
    1. In an oiled gratin dish (or something oven-proof)
    2. ½ the chard leaves
    3. the mushroom mix
    4. the other ½ of the chard leaves
    5. the chard stems/stalks
    6. the last 1/3 of the béchamel
    7. the grated gruyere cheese
  10. Bake at 200 C [425 F] for 10 minutes (until bubbly and a lovely brown)



  1. You can (and I did) assemble hours ahead. If so, cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  2. Alternately, assemble up until the last step of the béchamel , cover and store away. A half hour before serving pour on the last of the béchamel, sprinkle on the cheese, then cook.

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