The rainbow chard was ready for harvest today and we had 1/3 of a long loaf of day-old italian bread but not much else in the house. It’s tough coming up with dishes in which to hide chard from Chris. He’s not a big fan of it even though it is mild and tasty and healthier than spinach.
What better way to appeal to Chris’ appetite than a bread pudding? Even better, something with cheese and a custardy texture? Strata to the rescue!
I found a number of chard strata recipes online (Martha Stewart, NY Times, Williams-Sonoma), but I settled on this one because it had fewer ingredients and better matched what I had in the house (the others called for sausage or mushrooms as well). Of course I still made a number of changes to the original. It came out great and would have been even better had Chris not been so famished… we ate it before it had time to get to room temp but it was still delicious (and heavy). I served it with a chickpea, tomato, and cucumber salad (nice and light).
Here is my recipe:
- 2 bunches chard, chopped, separate thicker stems from the rest
- 1/3 long loaf italian bread or baguette, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 clove garlic, grated
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra to butter casserole dish
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded or diced (gruyere would probably be delicious, we only had cheddar in the house)
- 1 cup milk (I used 1% because that’s what we had)
- 6 large eggs
- kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 F and butter a 9×9 casserole dish.
- In 1 tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil saute onions and chard stems until soft and translucent, season with salt and pepper
- Add garlic and bread and saute for a minute or two, season a little more
- Put bread mixture in casserole dish
- Add another tbsp butter to pan and saute chard leaves until wilted and soft
- Add 3/4 of cheese to casserole and add chard. Mix all together.
- Top with remaining cheese and egg/milk mixture
- Bake for 40 minutes until golden on top
- Allow to cool before serving (slightly warm is fine but allow time for it to set and flavors to blend, room temp better)
I’ll update this post tomorrow to let you know how it is leftover. Photos of the process below.