When I usually think of "gratins", I think of potatoes. And while I *love* potatoes (who doesn't?!), I also love chard. Swiss chard in a creamy sauce is topped with seasoned breadcrumbs, and baked to perfection. It is the definition of comfort food, but also has an elegance about it.
Bread crumb topping:
¾ cup bread crumbs
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
2-3 Tbsp non-dairy butter, melted
3 Tbsp non-dairy butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups non-dairy milk
½ cup non-dairy shredded cheese (I used Daiya Mozzerella)
1 tsp lemon juice
8 cups fresh chard, torn
¼ cup water
1. Mix everything listed under "Bread Crumb Topping" in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
2. Now, it's time to move on to the gratin's sauce. In a medium size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. When the butter is completely melted, stir in the flour. It should form a paste. Add the non-dairy milk, and whisk until it thickens over medium heat (~10-15 minutes). Then, whisk in the shredded cheese until it's fully incorporated. Whisk in the lemon juice. Remove the sauce from heat, taste and adjust seasonings (salt? more lemon?).
3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Then, add chard and water to a large skillet. Over medium heat allow the chard to wilt. Stir it around until it wilts to ~⅓ of it's original size. Remove from heat, and drain off water.
4. In a medium casserole dish (I used an 8.25" 1.5 QT casserole dish), add 1 cup of the gratin sauce, and spread it evenly across the bottom.
5. Add chard (drained of any excess water) over the top of the sauce.
6. Pour the remaining sauce over the chard, and top the casserole with the bread crumb topping. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and serve.