Food Recipes

Swiss Chard Gratin

From “Fireside Food for Cold Winter Nights: More than 75 Comforting and Warming Recipes” by Lizzie Kamenetzky (Ryland Peters & Small)
Photography by Nassima Rothacker copyright Ryland Peters & Small, 2015, 2021

“Fireside Food for Cold Winter Nights” can be purchased on Amazon or through


My gratin is iron-rich and full of goodness, only somewhat negated by the cream and cheese! This gratin is great as a meal in itself with a little added bacon if you want a meaty hit.


  • 1 3⁄4 lb. (800g) Swiss chard
  • 3 1⁄2 tablespoons (50g) butter
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75g) plain/all-purpose flour
  • scant 1 cup (200 ml) crème fraîche
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (300 ml) double/heavy cream
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup (50g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon and a good squeeze of juice
  • heaping 1⁄2 cup (50g) grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


Preheat the grill/broiler to medium. Bring a pan of water to a boil and blanch the chard for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold running water. Squeeze out as much of the water as possible and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the crème fraîche, cream, and a good grating of nutmeg. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Season.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the lemon zest, cheese, and olive oil.

Mix the chard and the sauce together. Spoon the chard into a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, then put under the grill/broiler for a couple of minutes until golden brown and bubbling. (If you like, you can mix the sauce with the chard and leave until ready to cook. Heat through in a medium oven for 5 to 10 minutes before browning under the grill/broiler.)

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.