Cookbook Mania! The Good Cook Series–Chard, Swiss Style

by Sarah on May 24, 2010

Hey, remember these books?  The Good Cook Series.  They’re pretty good.  Pick ‘em up at your local used book seller when you run into them–usually only a couple of bucks each.

For today’s recipe, I’m using the vegetable book.  A couple of weeks back I needed to pull all the chard out of my garden in order to get ready for tomato season.  It was a LOT of chard and I was on the hunt for something different to do with all of it.  This gratin-style dish was just the thing.

The recipe is called “Swiss-Style Chard” and while it does use quite a lot of ingredients, it’s worth the extra effort.  Earthy from the dried mushrooms and chard, creamy, with hints of Gruyere and crunchy breadcrumbs on top, it really is a delightful side or would even be a good vegetarian main course.

First off, soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for about 5 minutes or so to soften them.  You can use whatever mushrooms you choose, but I happened to have these shiitake on hand.

You’ll need to parboil the chard before assembling too.  5 minutes is all it takes.

Place a couple of slices of good white bread in a bowl, torn up.  Pour the milk over it and let stand until the milk is absorbed.

Chop all your vegetables and get them ready to mix with the other ingredients.  I’ve got parsley, celery leaves, garlic, the softened dried mushrooms, the white and light green parts of 2 leeks, and the parboiled and drained chard.

Put it all together in a big mixing bowl with the cheese, mix, and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Add the eggs.

Generously butter your baking dish, then pour in a couple of Tbsp of olive oil, spreading over the bottom of the dish.

Mix the remaining olive oil with the bread crumbs in a small bowl.  Just pretend I am actually measuring the ingredients.

Put the chard mixture into the baking dish and top with the oiled bread crumbs.

Spread them out so they cover the chard evenly.  Get them all the way out to the edges so that everyone gets the crispy bits.

Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

recipe from The Good Cook Series:  Vegetables

Chard, Swiss Style


  • 1-1/2 lb. chard leaves, parboiled for 5 minutes, thoroughly drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 slices firm, white bread with the crusts removed, broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 oz. dried mushrooms, soaked for 5 minutes in warm water, squeezed dry and finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, white parts only finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley or chives
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)


  • Preheat oven to 350*.
  • Place the bread in a mixing bowl and pour the milk over it; allow to stand until the milk is absorbed. Add the chard, mushrooms, leeks, parsley or chives, celery leaves, garlic and grated cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the unbeaten eggs, one at a time, mixing will after each addition.
  • Butter a baking dish generously, pour in 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, spreading the oil well over the bottom of the dish. Mix the bread crumbs with the remaining oilive oil. Spread the chard mixture evenly in the dish and top with the oiled bread crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven, preheated to 350* for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is firm and browned. Serve from the baking dish.

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