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s Lasagna, Swiss Chard (D, TNT)
Source: Food and Wine magazine - January 1994
Serves: 8

2 pounds red Swiss Chard, stems removed up to 1" from the leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced 1/4" thick
2 medium shallots, minced
2 cups ricotta cheese (8 ounces)
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese(8 ounces)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese (about 2 ounces)

In a large steamer, bring 1/2" of water to a boil over high heat. Pack half of the Swiss chard in the steamer basket, cover and steam until tender but not too soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the Swiss chard to a colander and repeat with the remaining chard.

Let drain until cool, then separate the leaves and spread them out in a single layer on paper towels, pressing them lightly to remove excess moisture. Gently roll up the towels to keep the leaves from drying out.

In a medium non-reactive saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and increase the heat to high. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking until smooth, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaf and simmer over low heat, whisking often, until the sauce is shiny and the floury taste is gone, about 10 minutes.

Pass the sauce through a coarse strainer over a bowl, pressing the onion with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the strainer. Season with salt and pepper. Put plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and shallots. Cover and cook, stirring once, until the mushrooms are well browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.

In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, mozzarella and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg yolk.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Remove the plastic wrap from the white sauce and squeeze any sauce clinging to it back into the bowl. Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom a 9"x13" glass or enameled baking dish or oval gratin dish. Unfold the chard leaves and divide them into 4 equal parts.

Arrange 1/4 of the chard leaves in an even layer over the sauce. Using a rubber spatula, lightly spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on top of the leaves. Continue to layer in the following manner: 1/4 of the chard leaves, all of the mushrooms, 3/4 cup of white sauce, 3 tablespoons the Parmesan, another 1/4 of chard leaves, the remaining chard and the remaining white sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons on Parmesan on top.

It is worth the effort!!

Bake the lasagna in the upper third of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Let the lasagna rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Poster's Notes: My beloved friend Mimi Gordon who died two weeks ago made this for a dinner party in 1994. It came from a Food and Wine magazine - January 1994.

Posted by Omi Cantor

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A