This nourishing gratin makes a great vegetarian main dish. In addition to all of those nutrients provided by the greens, you’ll get lots of B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium from the potatoes.
2 to 2 1/2 pounds greens (such as chard, beet greens or kale), stemmed and cleaned
3/4 pound small potatoes (such as baby Yukon Gold or new potatoes)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Place the potatoes and salt to taste in a large pot of water (you’ll be cooking the greens in the same water), and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover partially and boil the potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stem the greens and wash the leaves thoroughly, making sure to remove all sand.
2. When the potatoes are done, remove from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle, then cut in 1/2-inch slices. Bring the water back to a rolling boil, and add the greens. Blanch for about two minutes (three or four minutes for kale) until just tender. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon or deep-fry skimmer, and transfer immediately to a bowl of cold water. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the greens, potatoes and parsley, and gently toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Stir in the Gruyère and Parmesan, and add more salt and pepper. Combine everything thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Scrape into the gratin dish. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top, and place in the oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned on the top. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: This keeps well for about three days in the refrigerator. You can reheat in a medium oven or serve at room temperature. You can make the dish through step 3 up to a day ahead.