Not the most complicated or unusual recipe to start the week with, but I encountered some trouble getting the ingredients I need for the other recipes I've got planned so it's the only one I've got ready to go. Also, the only other chard and turnip gratin recipe Google finds is a substandard one I made last year. As far as I can tell nobody's been looking for such a thing, but if anyone does, I want them to find something better.
I started by putting together the mise en place for the gratin assembly and preheating the oven to 375 degrees. And finding an 8-inch cast iron pan.
The chard needs to be blanched a bit. Our small bunch was particularly young and tender so I simmered the stems for a minute, added the leaves, and simmered for one minute more. Then I rinsed them in cold water to stop the cooking, squeezed out the liquid and chopped them fairly finely. I mixed that with chopped parsley and shallots, thyme and salt.
For the cheese, I mixed about even amounts of Kilaree, a young Irish cheddar and Havarti.
And I sliced, paper thin, three medium turnips.
Here's the first layer; Isn't it pretty?
That's a slightly overlapping single layer of turnip, a scattering of the chard mixture, a scattering of cheese and two Tablespoons of chicken stock and two Tablespoons of cream.
I think I got four layers before running out of chard. I topped with the last of the turnip and a layer of mixed Parmesan and bread crumbs and then covered it with foil.
40 minutes at 375 degrees foil on, 20 minutes foil off and a few minutes under the broiler and here it is:
The cooking brings out the turnip's sweetness which balances with the slight bitterness of the chard and the rich salty cheese for a nicely balanced combination of flavors. There's even a little toastiness from the topping. The turnip still has a little firmness to it, the chard a little chew and the top crisped up nicely. I went a little heavy on the stock so it's a little watery, but otherwise it's really very nice indeed.