Ok- the recipe you’ve been waiting for! I mentioned the monster dinner party we hosted a few weeks ago in my post last week, and in my opinion, the most successful recipe of the night was this sweet potato and swiss chard gratin. I feel the need to note here, however, that it was successful not only because of how delectable AND healthy it was, but also, because I think it is the first time EVER that Ryan and I have successfully prepared a dish in the kitchen together. I take the blame because I admittedly am a control freak in my kitchen, but given the tasks for the evening, I miraculously relinquished control, and we found that we can coexist in the kitchen without someone getting hurt. This was not a completely event-free transition, as I will demonstrate by highlighting a few select lines here:
Ryan: “How should I slice the potatoes?”
Me: “Um….I dont’ know. Thin slices.”
Ryan: “Like this?”
Me (annoyed that I cannot delegate a task after all): “About 1/8 of an inch.”
Ryan: “So…is this good?”
Me: “WHATEVER! This is a GRATIN. Slice them for a GRATIN.”
It was uphill from there. Don’t worry.
Tips for this recipe before you begin. First, the amount of sweet potato is actually up to you. The recipe calls for 2 lbs of sweet potato, which is about right, but feel free to add more or less depending on your preference. I think the recipe would work just as well. Second, buying swiss chard can be momentarily stressful. I think this was the first time ever that I actually purchased swiss chard at the grocery store. If you too are a swiss chard virgin, there are a few “varieties” of swiss chard options that you will need to choose from. I happened to pick the rainbow swiss chard for this recipe, well…because it was pretty. I’m sure any of the varieties would be fine, as would another leafy green such as kale or even spinach! So no need to panic in front of the vegetables as I did. Finally, make sure that the swiss chard mixture described below is well drained. If not, your gratin will be rather soupy, but still delicious. Don’t worry!
Here ya go! Make it right now. My friend, Ann, in France did. And she’s in France, so it must be good 🙂 xoxo
Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin (adapted from Smitten Kitchen):
2 lbs thinly (1/8 inch) sliced and peeled sweet potato
3 bunches of swiss chard (about 3 lbs), stems separated from leaves, and chopped
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp nutmeg
2 garlic cloves
2 cups milk (whole is best or cream if you’re really feeling crazy)
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp dried thyme
1 1/4 cup shredded gruyere
First, peel and slice the potatoes (great job for the hub, as evidenced above). Grease a casserole dish and arrange a layer of sweet potato along the bottom. Second, melt 2 Tbsp butter, add the onion, some salt, and cook until translucent, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Add the chopped swiss chard stems (about 1 inch pieces), nutmeg, and cook together until softened. Add the swiss chard leaves, add salt, and cook until they wilt. Take the onion and swiss chard mixture and strain, pushing down on the mixture with a wooden spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Finally, you need to prepare the sauce. Place the garlic cloves in the milk and bring to a boil. In a separate saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter, then add the 2 Tbsp of flour. Stir the mixture and allow it to cook together for about 1 minute. Then slowly add the garlic and milk and bring to a boil. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, then remove from the heat.
To assemble the gratin: On top of the layer of potato you already put at the bottom of the casserole dish, sprinkle 1/4 of the herbs and cheese along with some salt and pepper. Spread half of the swiss chard mixture over the potatoes, add another 1/4 of the herbs and cheese. Pour half of the cream sauce over the first two layers, and then repeat. Potatoes, herbs/cheese, swiss chard, herbs/cheese and remaining cream sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake the gratin at 400F for about an hour. Enjoy!!