I’m in France. I’ve been too busy eating delicious things to write in here. Mostly I’ve been eating goat’s cheese salad and more goat’s cheese salad, because it has been hot and there is nothing better to eat (and not much more available in the average French café for vegetarians). But at home we have taken turns to cook, and I have wanted to be inventive. So, once I had a fridge-full of food, I wanted to buy nothing else and see what I could do. But then, on a rainy Saturday morning, we went to the small market in the nearby town, and a woman was selling blettes. Blettes is chard, the kind with the wide white stems and dark green leaves. I think it’s Swiss chard. Anyway my friend Tom once taught me a recipe for gratin de blettes, but I couldn’t find it so I made it up.
- A bunch of blettes
- 2 large courgettes
- Some fromage blanc
- 3 eggs
- a small carton of cream
- emmental, grated
- Put the oven on to about 180
- Chop the courgettes. Depending on their size, in rounds or half-rounds
- Strip the leaves from the blettes and chop up the white stems
- Fry the stems and the courgettes in oil and garlic for about 15 minutes
- Meanwhile break three eggs into a bowl, add a large dollop (probably about two tablespoons-ful) of fromage blanc (or creme fraiche: any thick dairy product would do) and the carton of cream. Grate parmesan into it, as much as you feel like
- Slice up the green leaves of the chard and quickly fry them, no longer than five minutes
- When the courgettes are soft but not too soft, spread a layer of courgettes and blettes (stems and leaves) on the bottom of an oven dish, then pour over the eggs and dairy mixture. Grate over some parmesan. Do this until you’ve run out of greens. Sprinkle the emmental on the top if you want a cheesy top.
- Bake for about half an hour. Serve with a green salad, or, if you are lucky like me, with gorgeous French beans donated by your neighbour from his allotment.
I was too busy cooking and eating to remember to take photos, but here is the aftermath.