Gratin De Blettes à la Provençal
Not all of the outside influences in Marseille cooking are foreign. Dishes like this Swiss chard gratin were introduced by Provençal highlanders who moved to the seaport, usually for economic reasons.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
3 pounds Swiss chard
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 slices white bread
1 cup milk
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup cooked white rice
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Separate the Swiss chard leaves from the stalks, thoroughly wash the leaves, and drain. Place the leaves in a pot with 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover, and heat over moderately high heat for 15 minutes. Transfer the leaves to a strainer to drain out the liquid. When the leaves have cooled, squeeze out any remaining liquid with your hands, chop the leaves coarsely (this should produce about 3 cups chopped Swiss chard), and place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Chop the garlic with the parsley and add to the Swiss chard.
3. Place the bread slices in a shallow bowl and cover with milk. Let stand for 1 minute. Squeeze out the milk from the bread slices with your hands and combine with the Swiss chard, garlic, and parsley. Add the Gruyère, rice, eggs, and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
4. Place the mixture in a 9 by 9-inch baking pan, casserole, or gratin dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Sardine and Swiss Chard Gratin
Grease the bottom of the baking pan or casserole with olive oil. Place 6 to 8 split fresh sardine fillets on the bottom of the pan, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil and top with half the Swiss chard mixture. Top with another layer of 6 to 8 split sardine fillets, this time skin side up. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with the remaining Swiss chard mixture, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and bake in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes. Makes 4 main-course servings.
Made in Marseille
Food and Flavors from France's Mediterranean Seaport
by Daniel Young
Hardcover; 288 pages
$32.50; $48.95 CAN
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created November 2002
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