The cooking term “gratin” refers to a dish that is covered with breadcrumbs, cheese, and/or some sort of creamy sauce and is baked until golden brown….um, YUM!
But wait – this isn’t a “recipe makeover” or “you only live once” post. A cheesy and creamy casserole dish is not the sort of thing you’d expect to find in our “healthy side” category – until now!
While this side dish pairs well with chicken or fish, it could also stand alone as a vegetarian main. The small 8 x 8 casserole is packed to the brim with healthy goodness – layers of sweet potato, white beans, and swiss chard turn your standard YOLO gratin dish to a healthful vegetarian option.
When you start cooking your swiss chard it is going to look like you have enough to feed an army. Don’t worry, it will wilt down very quickly to a manageable pile. And once it does, please try to squeeze out as much liquid from your pile of greens as possible to avoid having a watery finished gratin – I speak from experience.
Think of the layering process kind of like lasagna, except replace the sweet potatoes with the noodles and the beans with the meat. It won’t look like a lasagna, or taste like a lasagna, but it sure does layer like a lasagna.
A healthy side, a vegetarian main, a recipe makeover – how about we just call it delicious!
White Bean, Sweet Potato, and Swiss Chard Gratin
Adapted from Eats Well With Others
- 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 bunches of swiss chard (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Cups skim milk
- 1 sweet potato (thinly sliced into rounds)
- 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3/4 cups grated gruyere cheese
- salt and pepper (to taste)
This gratin can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. It goes great with a piece of salmon or chicken and can also serve as a vegetarian main course. Feel free to substitute spinach or kale for the swiss chard and grated mozzarella for the gruyere.
||Preheat a large saucepan or heavy skillet over medium high heat an add 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Cook onion and garlic for a few minutes, until onion begins to soften. |
||Add swiss chard and cook until wilted. Remove to a bowl and let cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the moisture over your kitchen sink by placing chard in a kitchen towel or heavy duty paper towel until most of the liquid is released. Set aside. |
||Heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in the skillet/saucepan and add flour, whisking to make a thick paste. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, or until thickened, while continuing to whisk. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. |
||Preheat oven to 400 and spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 of the sweet potato slices evenly over the bottom of the dish. Cover with half of the white beans, half of the chard mixture, half of the cheese, and half of the white sauce and season again with salt and pepper. Layer with remaining half of the ingredients. |
||Cover with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. |