As always, food ideas come to me in clusters. In Jasper, I pulled a recipe from Canadian Living for a cheesy chard gratin. When I got home and jumped around to some of my favourite food blogs to catch up on what’s been going on in everyone’s kitchens, Deb had made a chard gratin with sweet potatoes. Well, hello.
So obviously it was a sign. I picked up some chard. However. Have I mentioned the entertainment tax I paid last week? It cost me a full 8 pounds. Too much cheese, bread, butter, meat, desserts doused in whipped cream. Repeat. Have you ever heard Michael Pollan’s advice to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”? In recent weeks (between Jasper, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas and the Okanagan-yikes!) I’ve lived the opposite: “eat food, way too much, mostly stuff that didn’t grow out of the ground”.
And if it was a plant it was doused in thick, creamy balsamic dressing or béarnaise. Or both.
So this chard and sweet potato gratin seemed like a good idea, but I could hardly feel virtuous about a vegetable casserole made with 2 cups of heavy cream, butter and cheese, although I can’t imagine a tastier way to eat my vegetables. So I swapped the butter for oil, used milk (you could do half & half if you don’t want to lose the cream entirely) and eased up on the cheese a bit – this part I was most resistant to being stingy on – but a little went a long way. I used the end of a stump of Gruyére, and a bit of old Gouda. I also streamlined it a bit, mostly because I’m lazy and don’t much like doing dishes (or telling Mike to) and ditched the herbs (parsley and thyme). It was ridiculously good – sweet and warm and nutty from the cheese and nutmeg – and between the two of us (W would have nothing to do with it) we ate almost the whole thing. I had it for dinner and dessert.
One Year Ago: Pasta Carbonara with Peas