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Swiss Chard Stem Gratin

From Athens Locally Grown

<p>Most green leafy vegetable stems are just as delicious as the leaves and can be included in any dish you are making. Depending on the recipe, you may have to give the stems a few minutes head start in boiling water. Or, you can just save them up for variations on this unusual recipe.</p>
Source: From Recipes from America's Small Farms by Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein. (Entered by Eric Wagoner)
Serves: Serves 4

Swiss chard stems from two large bunches, cut into 2 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cups olive oil
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a small casserole. In a large skillet, saute the Swiss chard stems, shallots, and garlic in the oil over medium-high heat for about two minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg; cook until the vegetables are tender, about another 4 minutes.
  2. Transfer the vegetables to the buttered casserole. Drizzle with the cream. Combine the bread crumbs and cheese and sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crumb mixture begins to brown. Serve immediately.