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Chard and onion panade

This panade could easily stand alone as a main course, needing nothing but a crunchy salad to complete the meal.

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Chard and Onion Panade
Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish
adapted from the Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

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The Rowdy Chowgirl

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1-1/2 lbs. (about 2 large) thinly sliced yellow onions
Olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1-1/2 lbs. Swiss chard (about 3 bunches), thick ribs removed, cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons
10 ounces day-old hearty bread cut into rough 1-inch cubes
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
8 ounces Gruyère, coarsely grated

In a large sautée pan, drizzle onions with enough olive oil to coat. Add garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are golden and caramelized, but without any browned edges-about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place another large sautée pan over medium heat. In three or four batches, drizzle chard with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. If chard is dry, sprinkle on some water. Steam chard until wilted but still bright green – 3 or 4 minutes per batch.

In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with a few tablespoons of olive oil, about 1/2 cup of the stock, and salt to taste.

In a flameproof, 3-quart casserole or skillet, assemble the panade in layers: onions, bread cubes, chard, cheese, repeat, topping with a handful of bread cubes.

Bring the remaining stock to a simmer and taste for salt. Add stock slowly around the edge of the dish to about 1 inch below the rim.

Set panade over low heat and bring to a simmer. Cover loosely with foil, and place in oven with a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any drips. Bake for about 1-1/2 hours, or until hot and bubbly. Uncover, increase temperature to 375 degrees F. for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Christina Masters blogs at The Rowdy Chowgirl.

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