I watched Jacques Pepin make this recipe on TV the other day and thought it would be a perfect seasonal spring dish. Farm fresh eggs, beautiful mushrooms, tender crisp chard – covered in creamy bechamel topped with grated cheese and baked until browned & bubbly. It’s a classic dish that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Eggs and Swiss Chard Gratin
recipe adapted from Jacques Pepin, “Heart & Soul”
- A bunch of Swiss Chard
- 1 cup mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups smoked country ham, diced in small cubes (optional)
- 8 eggs, hard-cooked, peeled, and sliced (2 eggs per person)
- 1 1/2 cups Swiss-style cheese, grated*
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon, flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup milk
- Pinch of salt and pepper.
To make Béchamel: In a sauce pan melted 1 tablespoon of butter, add 1 tablespoon of flour and stirring with a whisk stir flour mixture for several minutes, add milk, salt and pepper. Stir continually until sauce is thickened.
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Lightly butter casserole dish. Wash and slice mushrooms. Peel (under cool, running water) and slice, hard-boiled eggs.
- Preheat a large pan on the stove over medium heat. Wash (do not dry) Swiss chard and chop into 2-inch segments. Place wet chard in pan and a pinch of salt; reduce heat to low, cover and steam. Check often so it doesn’t burn. Place wilted chard in bottom of casserole. Return pan to heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. When melted add sliced mushrooms and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Assemble casserole (in one large dish or four individual ones)
- Place chard on the bottom as the first layer. Followed by a layer of cooked, sliced mushrooms, then layer country ham. Arrange sliced, hard boiled eggs over the ham. Ladle bechamel sauce over layers and top with grated, Swiss cheese.
- Bake at 350-degrees until cheese is completely melted and lightly browned. Makes 4 servings.
Cook’s Notes: You can leave out the ham to make it vegetarian (which is the way Jacques cooked it on TV). The recipe was one his mother made at her restaurant, Le Pelican, when he was a boy.
*Use Tulip Tree Creamery’s Milkweed, their Gruyere-style cheese.
Find more delicious recipes with hard-cooked (Easter) eggs in our recipe archive.