I have a problem with lunches. They just don't fit into my life. I've worked out a somewhat healthy breakfast routine, and I always make time for dinner. But three meals a day is just too much.
Would you support me if I lobbied to cut back to just two meals a day? It sure would work a lot better for me.
Don't get me wrong. I love a good lunch as much as the next gal. I just can't seem to fit it in.
Which brings me to what I love about this dish. It's a dinner that does double duty as a lunch the next day. And the next (if you still have any left). Now, that's the kind of lunch I can handle!
Swiss Chard Gratin
serves 4; 1 hour prep, about half the time unattended
Feel free to swap out the swiss chard for kale, spinach, or even beet greens, although chard is my personal favorite.
1/2 cup raw wheat berries
2 tablespoons olive oil, butter, or a combination
1 onion, sliced thin
leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme
6-8 large mushrooms, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches swiss chard, cleaned and sliced
1 tablespoon cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Some snippings of fresh chives
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
First, get the wheat started on the stove top. Place the wheat berries in a saucepan. Add about 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil or butter in a large, preferably cast-iron, skillet. Add the onions and thyme, and saute gently for about ten minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another ten minutes or so. Add the chard and cook, stirring every couple of minutes, till warmed through and softening. That should take about ten minutes longer.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt, ricotta and chives. Add that mixture to the cooked vegetables and stir in the wheat berries.
Pour the mixture into a gratin or casserole dish and sprinkle the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs evenly over all.
Bake for about 40 minutes in a preheated 400* oven till the top is beginning to brown and the gratin looks 'set.' Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or even cold. These make for GREAT leftovers.