Swiss Chard Gratin
Pickling the chard first (see below) gives it a very deep, robust flavour.
Goes well with venison or a meaty fish like turbot or halibut cooked on the bone
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins plus cooling
- 400g Swiss chard
- 3 star anise
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 300g white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 300ml pot double cream
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 100g gruyère, grated
- good pinch of cayenne pepper
- To pickle the chard, put 400ml water in a large saucepan or sauté pan with the star anise, sugar and vinegar. Put the remaining spices in a cloth bag tied with string, add to the pan, bring to the boil, then drop in the chard, stalk first. Press the chard down in the pan and simmer for 3-4 mins – don’t worry if you can’t cover the leaves completely in the liquid, as they will wilt and become submerged while cooking. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Once cooled, remove the chard from the pickle mix and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Lay the chard in an A4-sized baking dish.
- In a bowl, whisk the cream and garlic together with some seasoning, then pour over the chard.
Sprinkle over the cheese and cayenne pepper, and bake for 30 mins