Anne's Blog

Swiss Chard Stars in Umbria Goodness

Date: May 26, 2020 - categories: , , - 2 Comments

Baked Swiss chard goodness added a tasty side dish to a recent lunch.

Not Swiss chard from Novella’s vegetable stand in Assisi this time…

…but from our own vegetable garden, although I missed a shot of Pino picking it.

Here’s all you need to make Baked Swiss Chard:

  • a geenerous bunch of Swiss chard with stems on
  • a few tablespoons of butter
  • flour, a couple tablespoons
  • milk – about 1/2 qt
  • freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, q.b. (quanto basta or “as much as you need”) – or fine to use a pecorino cheese
  • gorgonzola cheese, q.b. (or other cheeses with sharp flavor)
  • salt, pepper, q.b.
  • nutmeg, q.b.

Start by washing well the Swiss chard (and all our vegetable-rinsing water is always saved for our flower):

Put salted water on to boil for the cooking of the Swiss chard – and then cut the stems off the chard:

When the water came to a roiling boil,….

….drop in the Swiss chard stems, lower the heat and cook the stems for just a few minutes:

Drain the stems, saving the water for the cooking of the Swiss chard leaves:

Cut the larger chard leaves in half to have more or less uniform-sized slices for cooking…..

…..and then steam them for just a few minutes in the boiling water (lowering the heat to simmer after you put in the greens):

Drain the steamed Swiss chard….

…..and set aside.

Prepare a béchamel cream for the baking of the Swiss chard. Pre-heat oven to about 350 F.

Melt a couple tablespoons of butter and stir in two or three tablespoons of flour:

Stir the flour/butter mixture continually as you gradually add milk (about 1/2 qt):

Add nutmeg, q.b….

…and a bit of salt and black pepper, q. b.:

Stir in a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan (and/or pecorino):

Set aside the béchamel sauce and prepare the Swiss chard.

Butter a baking dish and line it with the steamed Swiss chard stems:

…..and add a few of the leaves:

Spread some of the béchamel over the chard…

…..and repeat with another layer of chard, then béchamel. Crumble gorgonzola here and there on the top.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

Note: If you have left-over béchamel, you can cook some pasta al dente, then stir it into the remaining béchamel and put in a baking dish with tomato sauce on top and a sprinkle of Parmesan and some of the gorgonzola to create a tasty primo piatto or “first course.”

Pasta flanked the Swiss chard in our oven:

The baked Swiss chard is ready to serve when a golden crust has formed on top:

Buon appetito!

P.S. We enjoyed some of the steamed Swiss chard seasoned simply with our olive oil and freshly-squeezed lemon juice, too – our usual way to savor our Swiss chard:

Click here
 for another recipe for “COVID-19 distraction”

Click here for more news on agretti – and another recipe

Click here to read about Novella’s vegetable stand during the coronavirus lockdown

Click here for another tasty – and easy!- pasta recipe

Click here for another easy recipe to ward off CPA

Read about an Assisi COVID-19 springtime

Enjoy this “COVID-19 lockdown” recipe

Click here for a tasty Pino recipe as a coronavirus distraction

Click here for another “coronavirus-deterrent” recipe

Click here  for another “coronavirus lockdown” recipe

Click here for an easy, tasty recipe

Read about a Pino feast on March 8th as coronavirus distraction 

Click here for another tasty – and easy!- pasta recipe

Cook away a possible CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack) with this simple recipe for a buonissima pasta dish

Click here for another easy recipe to ward off CPA

Enjoy this “COVID-19 lockdown” recipe

Click here to read about – and see!- our Easter Monday picnic during lockdown

Click here to read about – and see!- our Easter Monday picnic during lockdown

Read about seeking floral splendor during lockdown

Read about Assisi’s superb medieval festival, Calendimaggio, cancelled due to COVID-19

Click here for the recipe for a tasty pasta dish – and ours on Good Friday during COVID-19

Read about a floral tribute to Gubbio and their May 15th festival, Corsa dei Ceri – during lockdown

Read about a “lockdown liberation” for April 25thla Festa della Repubblica (and so very linked to Gubbio, as well)

Read about newborn goats as a coronavirus diversion

Read here about culling the wool of our cashmere goats – a perfect coronavirus distraction

Read here about Pino’s goat cheese


  • Angela Sopranzi says:

    Ciao Anne, I am so happy that you posted your email about the zoom session coming up. I don’t know if I can attend, but I will try. Another reason I was happy to see your post, was because I was thinking of you just last week and wasn’t sure about what your email address was. So, now I have it again. At my age, I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to
    Italy again, more because of the mess the world is in now. But, I will savor and experience Bella Italia through your posts. A presto, Angela Sopranzi

  • Angela, I hope you were able to join in on ZOOM on June 13th! Can you join us on try 27th?

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