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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Swiss Chard, Fennel & White Bean Gratin

Hopefully this will be one of the last wintery dishes I have to post before spring brings asparagus, ramps and freshness to my kitchen.  But this hearty side is a great way to combine winter veggies into a healthy, tasty dish.

This recipe comes from Serious Eats but I pretty much halved it. Here's what you need: 

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium bulb fennel
1 small onion
salt and pepper
2 medium cloves garlic
1 bunch swiss chard
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon flour
3/4 cups milk or half and half
2 (15 ounce) cans white beans
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Core and thinly slice the fennel and thinly slice the onion.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large pan and add the onion and fennel.  Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes until vegetables are translucent.  Then add the chopped garlic and cook another 30 seconds.

Meanwhile tear the leaves of of the chard from the stems and rinse.  Chop the leaves and stems separately.  

Add the chard stems to the pan with the onions and fennel and cook for 2 minutes.

Then add the chard leaves, letting them wilt down for a few minutes.  

Sprinkle the flour and nutmeg over the veggies and mix it in.  Then stir in the milk (or cream if you're being naughty).

Add in the beans and bring to a low simmer.  Cook for about 10 minutes to let thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and mix in the panko and parmesan.

Pour the bean and fennel mixture into a square casserole dish.  

And sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over top.  

Bake 20-25 minutes until browned and bubbly.  

The crispy cheese and breadcrumbs were great with the creamy beans.

I served this with a grilled pork chop and it was perfect!

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