Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Swiss Chard & Cheese Casserole

Swiss Chard & Cheese Casserole
From The Gefilte Variations

Hands on time: 40 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Rest time: at least 20 minutes

Serves 8-10

2 lb/ 900g swiss chard – with center ribs removed (the recipe really calls for spinach)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup shallots, finely chopped (or 1 cup of onion)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup soft cream cheese
4 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups Jarlsberg cheese, grated
Lemon zest ( ½ lemon)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp matzo meal (or corn meal) to prepare the pan
4 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C

2. Wash the Swiss chard and remove the ribs, keeping only the leaves. The ribs can be saved for adding to a lentil or other thick soup.

3. Coarsely chop the chard and place in a large pot with only the water left clinging to it from the rinsing. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s all wilted (about 10 minutes)

4. Place the cooked chard in a colander and squeeze out the excess liquid. Give it an additional chopping.

5. In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the shallots until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the chard to the pan and toss. Stir in the parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Set it aside to cool .

6. In a separate bowl, mix the beaten eggs with cheeses and then add the chard mixture.

7. Grease a 13” x 9” (large oven proof lasagna dish) with butter, add the matzo meal or corn meal. Shake the pan so that the matzo meal coats the bottom and sides. Pour the chard and cheese mixture evenly into the pan and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.

8. Bake for 40 minutes or so until golden and the sides of the casserole come away from the pan. Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 20 minutes. The dish will continue to cook/set while it’s sitting on a rack in the pan.

9. You can serve it warm or at room temperature..

The top will become slightly hardened like praline. I like to serve it at room temperature, but it can also be served cold.

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