Food & dining

thanksgiving recipe

Recipe for rainbow Swiss chard gratin with Parmesan cream

Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Serves 8

Bright pink, red, yellow, and green stalks characterize rainbow chard; don’t discard the stems when you cook the leafy greens. Cook them first with onion to soften them, and then stir in the leaves until they wilt. Spread the chard in a baking dish and pour a custard of eggs, cream, and Parmesan on top. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake until golden.

Butter (for the dish)
cups heavy cream
2cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2bunches rainbow Swiss chard
2tablespoons olive oil
cups freshly grated

1. Set oven at 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat cream and garlic until bubbles appear at the edge of the pan. Turn off heat and set aside.


3. Cut along the ribs of the chard leaves to separate them from the leaves. Cut leaves into 3-inch pieces; cut ribs into 2-inch lengths.

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4. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the chard ribs, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes. Add half the leaves to the pot and turn with tongs until they start to wilt. Add the remaining leaves and continue to cook, turning with tongs, for 3 minutes, or until all the leaves wilt. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water if the pan seems dry. If there is excess liquid in the bottom of the pot after the leaves have cooked, drain in a colander.

5. Transfer the chard to the baking dish, leaving any water in the pot.

6. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper. Remove the garlic cloves from the cream and stir it into the eggs with 1 cup of the Parmesan. Pour the custard over the chard. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup Parmesan.

7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
Sally Pasley Vargas