Warm Leek & Swiss Chard Topper

My Mom and Dad always grew Swiss chard in the garden, sometimes growing the white and the red varieties. I never liked it as a kid, but today I crave it simply sautéed with shallots and leeks. Leftovers are great as a quiche filling together with sautéed mushrooms or as a pizza topping along with caramelized onions.

I was quite surprised when I served this the first time to visitors who loved it and began a discussion of Swiss chard as landscape plantings.

Makes 10 servings of 2 crostini each

1 bunch Swiss, chard, thoroughly washed

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2-3 tablespoons minced shallots

3 cups chopped leeks, thoroughly washed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

20 baguette slices

1/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Cut stems from chard and reserve. Coarsely chop the chard leaves.

Melt butter with olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir in stems, shallots and leeks. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook until leeks are just soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in chard, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cover and raise heat to medium high. Stirring occasionally, cook until almost all moisture is absorbed and leaves are tender about 5 minutes.

To serve: Scoop the warm chard mixture into a small serving bowl, next to a basket of crostini toasts topped with melted Gruyere cheese.

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