Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Swiss Chard Gratin

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
3 eggs
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. 


  1. I am up to try this within the week, it looks so good. I can't relate to missing lunch (ever) lol, but I agree that this would make an easy, satisfying lunch. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Swiss chard is one green I almost never purchase or cook with... But it seems so versatile, it's a shame to neglect it! The idea of this gratin sounds like it could work for all seasons (light and full of greens, but warm and comforting). I wonder if I could adapt it using tofu for the eggs, etc...

  3. That totally happens to me, too! If there is lunch readily available (like when my boss buys us all lunch at the office) I love eating it--but I never seem to plan on packing a lunch. It's so much trouble . . . so usually I just skip it. I'm with you on the 2 meals a day being enough. =)
    And I've never cooked with swiss chard, but your recipe looks awesome.

  4. Sounds delicious and healthy. I love how you added wheatberries!

  5. Have I told you I LOVE my leafy greens? Well I do. LOVE chard and am always looking for new ways to use it. Thanks!

  6. this looks so delicious girl. I love gratins and I am pretty sure after one taste of this it would be my new favorite! Amazing

  7. I always try to make my dinners lunch-friendly and this sounds like a perfect one! I'd be craving it all day long.

  8. 2 meals a day sounds good to me! I always have trouble getting breakfast in =)

    This gratin is genius and I can't wait to try it out!

  9. This looks so yummy---thanks for sharing :) I'm so into chard, and I love anything gratin!

    I've found that 3 meals a day do not work for me---2 or 1 plus juice and smoothies makes me function the best. Who came up with that 3 meals a day thing anyway? :)

  10. Never tried swiss chard in gratin version, sounds interesting. And maybe you can promote your breakfast to brunch status, that way lunch will not feel no lonely!?

  11. I love healthy dinner leftovers for lunch. Your gratin looks fabulous! I never have used wheat berries before- I will need to try them...

  12. I usually make gratins out of leeks and potatoes...this looks like a lovely refreshing change. The swiss chard sounds great, more healthy too.

  13. I love swiss chard. This is a great recipe. thanks for sharing.

  14. You have to prep lunches the night before. That way they're all ready to go!


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