Swiss chard and raclette tart

Swiss chard may not be especially Swiss, nor is it to everyone’s tastes. But it does go really well with cheese, and since I had some decidedly Swiss raclette left over – and it’s very much to mine – this seemed like a good idea.

Chard has a robust leafy, earthy flavour with a stalky edge some don’t like. This is, of course, more pronounced in the stems. The leaves will wilt down like a stronger, more lettuce-ish spinach. Although they’re tougher and a little waxier.

Swiss chard and raclette tart

What that in mind, a variation on an old favourite springs to mind – the rocket and taleggio pie from the indispensable Silver Spoon.

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Cheesy gnocchi and Swiss chard bake

Swiss Chard is like the surly, unloved offspring of a furtive tryst between celery and choy-sum. It’sĀ slenderĀ and leafy, savoury, kind of stringy, and has a bold enough flavour to carry a dish largely on its own. Most of the recipes I looked at used only the stalks. The books advised keeping the leaves for making a soup or cooking as greens, and then never went so far as to actually offer the corresponding recipe.

Don’t let this make you suspicious – the leaves will cook like turnip tops, or a robust spring green. Or you can just shred them in with the stalks. It works just fine.

Cheesy gnocchi and Swiss chard bake.

Most of the recipes I saw were either tossed through pasta with a strong cheese, or in a creamy sauce. There were plenty of gratins, and actually the odd suggestion for steaming or frying the leaves. I opted to combine some of the cream/gratin ideas and make a quick gnocchi bake with cheese.

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