The depths of February see even the most industrious of cooks, sadly eyeing up a parsnip desperately trying to think of a new incarnation, whilst they await the first of the Spring produce. Well luckily there is a little colour in the Farm Shop on these dark days, lovely fresh rainbow chard. Try this colourful take on a gratin dauphinoise for a welcome break from the beige….
4 packs rainbow chard
300ml double cream
2 cloves garlic
50g grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil
First prepare the chard. Separate the colourful stalks from the green leaves. Roughly chop the leaves and set to one side.
Peel the garlic cloves and put in a small milk pan with the double cream. Bring to the boil and reduce by about half. Take off the heat and leave the garlic cloves in the cream until you are ready and remove before using.
Blanch the chard stalks. Plunge into the boiling water, leave for 1 minute and then drain. Refresh the stalks in ice cold water.
Using the now empty saucepan, melt a knob of butter. Wilted the chard leaves with a pinch of salt and pepper until soft.
Melt the remaining butter and mix through the breadcrumbs with the parmesan. Strip the thyme leaves from the woody stalks and mix through. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Take a smallish oven proof dish and assemble your gratin. Layer up chard stalks and leaves, with the cream and breadcrumbs, finishing with an extra big layer of breadcrumbs.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.