So Chowhound my best friend when it comes to looking up foodie-type questions. Recently, I wondered what interesting things people had done with chard? Recipes that really can only be made with chard in order to have the right texture and taste. I found two leads on a Chowhound forum that looked promising: Swiss chard gnocchi and Chard, Onion and Gruyere Panade.
The gnocchi I will definitely try at a later date (if we're lucky enough to receive chard again in our CSA box), but the panade I definitely had to try sooner rather than later. One look at the recipe (bread casserole? caramelized onions? gruyere!?!) had me drooling all over the mouse.
The results were so satisfying. Such simple ingredients and such an amazing result. The chard was perfect in this recipe since it provided far more bite and flavour than spinach would have - its green leafiness held up well to the long bake and was much more pleasing in the end product than mushy spinach would have been. In fact, this is a great way to introduce someone to chard.
The picture I took isn't much to look at, most bread casseroles/puddings usually aren't. But the fact that hubby and I were dangerously close to eating the leftovers straight out of the pot after we'd already stuffed ourselves at dinner, just about says it all.
Here are the comments I received from hubby upon his entering the house, in chronological order:
"What are you making? [sniff of appreciation] It smells cheesy."
"Mmm, look mommy made us something yummy."
"Did you caramelize the onions first?"
"It tastes like the best parts of french onion soup!!" (I opted for more stock in my panade which definitely made it harken back to french onion soup. Next time I may try it firmer and fry the leftovers as suggested by the Zuni Cafe's chef).
And the final comment, amidst mmms and aahs and contented chewing by both parents and children...
"Why have I never eaten this before!?!"
We did have some leftovers which were great nuked the next day. The chewiness in the bread that came from baking was lost, but the flavours and comfort of the meal was not. We had ours served with some baked salmon filets but this could totally stand up to a good hunk of red meat as well. I have a feeling that this is going to be a permanent part of my repertoire.