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Rainbow Chard & Shallot Gratin

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Creamy, rich, savory and just a touch of natural sweet from the shallots. Rainbow Chard & Shallot Gratin is the vegetable dish your family will ask for this holiday season. Bonus:  it’s got lots of leafy greens.

spoon scooping rainbow chard gratin out of baking dish

It’s big, colorful, leafy greens but done in a way that’s ultimate indulgence while also making the perfect complementary side dish to your next holiday or comfort meal.

Truth, this is my go-to holiday side dish next to pureed parsnips.  Rainbow chard gratin, I count down the days until you can get in my belly!  Please, I urge you to join me in this need.

Here’s what you’re going to love about rainbow chard and shallot gratin getting cozy in your belly.

  • big leafy greens
  • creamy, cheesy sauce
  • can be made ahead
  • indulgent, yet lighter than a starchy side
  • super flavorful for leafy greens and creamy sauce

It’s great served up with turkey or roasted chicken with some sort of crunchy-ish vegetable to balance the gooey, cheesy texture.  And the make-ahead part really comes in handy if you’d like to serve this dish for Thanksgiving or another holiday dinner. 

Bonus points, it travels well too and retains heat nicely so you can bring it if you’re contributing a side dish to your festivities!

rainbow gartin au gratin served on small plates

HOW TO MAKE RAINBOW CHARD & SHALLOT GRATIN

Chop. Blanch. Squeeze. Saute. Sauce. Bake.

That’s what we’re going for here my friends.

The rainbow chard is going to feel like you have roughly 1,000 leaves but once they get wilted in the hot water, blanched, and then squeezed to remove excess water you will be left wondering where all the leaves are.  This is another reason this dish is a great make-ahead because 6 pounds of rainbow chard takes up a lot of space in a holiday prepared fridge.  

collage of process shots to make rainbow chard gratin

Once the rainbow chard is ready, sauté the shallots and garlic.  Once everything is translucent, remove from the heat and start making the sauce.

This is a bechamel style sauce, so we’re going to start with a roux.  Don’t worry, it sounds fancy but it’s really simple.  Just a little butter and flour stirred together that will help to thicken the sauce as it simmers with the milk.  Once the sauce is prepared, you mix in a generous helping of parmesan and gruyere cheese before tossing it all together.

Spoon your beautiful leafy green au gratin into a buttered baking dish and bake!

au gratin on small white plates and baking dish in background

Can you substitute another green?

Absolutely!  Swiss chard is an easy switch or even Tuscan kale would make a good replacement.

And if you can’t find shallots, you can use leeks or sweet onions for a subtle sweet flavor.

What’s gruyere cheese?

It’s the same type of cheese that’s usually served on top of french onion soup.  It’s a semi-hard cheese that grates easily, melts well, and is mild yet tangy.  A good substitute is Swiss cheese.  If substituting Swiss in this recipe, use a block of swiss and not slices from the deli counter.

To make this ahead of time….

If you want to bake it the day you plan to serve it, stop once all the elements are in the baking dish and refrigerate.

If you’d like to bake it and just reheat the day you’re serving it, go ahead and bake, then let it cool before covering and refrigerating.  Reheat it in a 375°F oven for about 10 minutes.  Some of the butter may separate but a quick stir will bring it together.

serving up chard gratin on side plates

If you made this dish, please leave a comment and rating below!  I would love to hear your feedback.  Don’t forget to share your finished dish with the pin on Pinterest for others to take a peek!

chard gratin on small plates with blue and white napkin

Rainbow Chard & Shallot Gratin

Creamy, cheesy, leafy greens with tender shallots make for the ultimate comfort food side dish!  Rainbow chard and shallot gratin is a great side dish to bring to dinner, make-ahead, or just enjoy for date night-in or your next holiday meal.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: au gratin, chard gratin, make ahead side dishes, rainbow chard, rainbow chard gratin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 251kcal
Author: Lauren

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds rainbow chard about 6 bunches, large stems removed
  • 8 shallots half-moon slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic clove minced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese freshly grated
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  • Chop the greens. Trim most of the stem off the chard and chop the leaves and stems.  The greens are the star of the dish, but the stems add a burst of color.
  • Blanch the greens.  In a large pot of boiling water, blanch rainbow chard in batches, cooking until wilted - about 1 minute. Transfer to an ice bath immediately. Continue until all the rainbow chard is blanched. Following the ice bath, squeeze the chard thoroughly in a kitchen towel.
  • Sauté the vegetables.  In a deep-sided saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat, add the shallots and season with about 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook while occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula so the shallots do not burn, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic, cook 1 more minute.  Remove from heat, stir in the rainbow chard and then transfer the vegetables to a side dish while you prepare the sauce.  Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Make the sauce.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour to form the roux. The texture will be like a thick paste.  Gradually pour in 1/3 of the milk, whisking constantly to remove any clumps while the mixture thickens. Repeat a second and third time until all the milk is incorporated and the sauce is smooth.  Continue whisking until sauce begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, occasionally stirring. The sauce should be thick and creamy, any flour taste should cook-off at this point.
  • Make the gratin.  Whisk in the parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, and nutmeg. Combine the sauce with the chard and shallots, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer the rainbow chard and shallot mixture to the baking dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining gruyere cheese.
  • Bake. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling and the top is golden brown. Let the dish rest about 8 to 10 minutes before serving to allow the creamy sauce to set.

Notes

  • Swiss chard can easily be substituted from rainbow chard
  • If making ahead, stop after step #5.  Allow the dish to cool, then cover and refrigerate until you're ready to cook it.
  • If cooked in advance, the butter may separate a little when reheating but a quick stir will incorporate it back together.

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 615mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7376IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 318mg | Iron: 3mg

 

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Linda Falatdeau

Monday 26th of March 2018

Making this dish to accompany my Easter ham. Wish me luck!

Lauren

Saturday 31st of March 2018

Did YOU make it :) We can call it a team effort

Anne Murphy

Monday 17th of April 2017

That looks amazing! I love chard, have since I first had it from a farm stand as a kid!

Isn't it something else the way most greens cook down! You think you have enough to feed three counties, and then suddenly it's only enough for three people... LOL

Lauren

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

That's absolutely true!! Haha. It takes up so much space in the refrigerator and then it fits in a tupperware container!

Dawn

Thursday 13th of April 2017

This sounds wonderful! I love chard as an alternative to spinach and you cannot go wrong with a gratin!

Emma

Thursday 13th of April 2017

This looks so delicious - I've given up starches so I've really been missing my potato gratin! This looks like an amazing replacement! Ill have to try it this weekend!

Lauren

Thursday 13th of April 2017

Thank you!

Joscelyn

Thursday 13th of April 2017

Looks and sounds delicious! I love rainbow chard too...so pretty!

Lauren

Thursday 13th of April 2017

Thank you!