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  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees . Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and add the chard (the pot will be packed); boil to wilt, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain the chard in a colander and rinse under cool water. Using a clean kitchen towel, drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Coarsely chop.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk; season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Cook until thickened slightly.

  • Layer half of the chard in a medium casserole, then top with half of the bechamel sauce and half of the cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the remaining cheese. Bake until bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add the bread to the oven to toast briefly.

  • Rub the toasted bread with the cut sides of the garlic. Top each piece with one-quarter of the chard gratin.