I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday! I am so thankful to be part of Bloomfield Farms and the amazing opportunity to cook and create things from what we grow. I am very excited about the succulent salad greens growing in the greenhouse. This morning we harvested delicate mache, miners lettuce, cress and a lemony red leaf mixed with arugula, wasabi arugula and other young leaves from the fields. I suggest eating this mix as soon as you can to get the full effect of the delicate flavors. We also have two types of tatsoi, collards, squash, chard, leeks, beets, kale, feijoa and herbs.
I am sure you have many ideas for Thanksgiving. This one uses the collard greens or the chard and leeks for a gratin that would be amazing with turkey.
Leek Chard Gratin
a bunch of Swiss chard or substitute collards
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 leeks, white and tender green parts only, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 quart whole milk
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the chard or collards in batches until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain the chard, squeeze dry and chop it small.
Heat the oil in the pot. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until tender, 7 minutes. Uncover, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the chard, season with salt and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Butter a 10-by-15-inch baking dish. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour over moderate heat to form a paste. Gradually whisk in one-third of the milk and cook, whisking, until the mixture starts to thicken. Repeat two more times with the remaining milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking often, until thickened and no floury taste remains, 15 minutes. Whisk in the cheeses and the nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Mix the sauce into the leeks and chard. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown on top. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
MAKE AHEAD The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.