Fun fact: Swiss chard is my favorite vegetable, aesthetically speaking. (The favorite tasting award is currently held by Brussels sprouts.) I’m not sure I captured the vibrancy of the sunset-colored stalks in my photo session, but they are unbelievably gorgeous. Paired with their dark and stormy leaves, chard is a dramatic little diva of a plant. (Yes, I am still talking about a vegetable. I’m officially a crunchy hippy weirdo, thank you very much).
Typically, this hearty friend is best sautéed for an eon or two with some pancetta and finished with a hit of acid (apple cider vinegar is a nice choice), but during the “fatten up” months of December & January, it’s really best surrounded by soft hunks of bread and cheese shreds. Everything is.
My only wondering with this recipe is: would it be better with some crunch, like a toasted nut or seed (I am imagining a delicious sunflower seed situation)?
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, rinsed thoroughly and sliced into slivers
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- 6 c bread, cubed into 1.5" pieces (try a soft Italian loaf, brioche, or challah)
- pinch tarragon
- ½ t dry mustard
- 4 eggs
- 2.5 c milk
- 1 t dijon mustard
- 1 t salt
- ½ c grated Swiss cheese or gruyere
- Preheat oven to 350. Spread cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Heat a medium pan of medium him heat and add the oil. When hot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the chard and sautee until soft, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add chard to bread chunks along with tarragon and dry mustard. Mix to combine.
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and dijon mustard.
- Butter an 8" x 8" square pan.
- Place a thin layer of cheese on the bottom of the pan-- just a sprinkling, really. Layer one third of the bread mixture on top. Continue alternating bread & cheese until ingredients are used up, making sure to end with cheese on top.
- Pour egg mixture on top and gently press down so that most of the bread is submerged (it's ok to have some poking out). Let sit for 10-20 minutes, to allow the bread to soak up some of the egg.
- Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until brown and bubbly. Serve warm or cold. Excellent with something saucy, like a stew or mustard chicken dish. Nom nom nom.