Sunday, October 05, 2008

It's easy being green: Swiss chard lasagna

All I need is a tiara! But a "Plays in the Dirt" ballcap will do (thanks, Mom!).

This bounteous bouquet of Swiss chard was destined to be a lasagna experiment. I've made lasagna with chard before, but with just a thin layer of green, and I also had asparagus in there. This time, it's two super-thick layers of chard.
I assembled this fairly late last night, so the lighting sucks, but you get the picture.

A lasagna like this couldn't be easier to make. The most time-consuming part was tearing up the chard leaves and washing them (three batches in my jumbo salad spinner). I'll sautée the stems and cook them separately for a different meal.
I spread a thin layer of jarred sauce (Safeway brand vodka sauce) in the bottom of the pan and three noodles on top (no, I do not pre-boil them, and they're just regular noodles).

A few more dabs of sauce, and a crumbling of queso fresco. Thick layer of chard. More sauce. Repeat. I had to mash the whole thing down a bit to compress the layers. The top noodles are covered with sauce to their edges and the whole thing is covered with foil to sit in the fridge overnight. The noodles will soak up sauce, which obviates the need to pre-boil.

Total assembly time was about 15 minutes (including leaf-prep).

This morning, I cooked it covered at 350 for about 45 minutes, then took the foil off, sprinkled shredded mozzarella over and baked for another 10, then turned the broiler on for a minute to brown the cheese.

You can see it sank in the pan quite a bit. Just like spinach, chard loses a lot of volume as it cooks.

Et voilà!
This turned out spectacular. The sauce is quite tangy, and the chard still has a little texture and resistance between the soft noodles (the advantage of using the really big, stiff leaves). It still doesn't have quite the volume I was aiming for, so next time I will find an even deeper pan and double the chard layers. Lord knows, I've got the leaves!


  1. et voila is right....this is 'da bomb' I wish I had a big steaming hunk of it right now...

  2. wow, thanks for this post! We've just finished off a spinach lasagne and I've been trying to think of more interesting variations. I'm adding this to the 'to-try' queue...

  3. Yum, that sounds marvelous and I have chard, too. We had it in an enchilada filling yesterday and that was quite good, too.


  4. Kitt,

    Those are really impressively large chard leaves.

  5. Did you intentionally coordinate your outfit to match the chard leaves, or was that coincidence?

  6. Are you sure that chard is safe? Don't turn your back on it, is my recommendation.

  7. Come on over, db! It'll keep for a few days ...

    I think you'll like it, Jen.

    Dani, enchiladas are a good suggestion.

    Fuzzy, aren't they though? I'm glad they weren't too tough to eat.

    Beatrice, that was totally a coincidence! I noticed it when I was cropping the picture.

    Betts, as soon as you can get here! Maybe you and db can carpool.

    nbm, it's pretty well-rooted, but I try to be nice to it.

  8. I belong to a food co-op and I think we're gonna get Swiss chard this week. I'd love to share this recipe with them.

    I made a wonderful white spinach lasagana last year for Christmas. It had a white bechamel sauce with nutmeg - really nice.

  9. It is delectable, Mimi!

    JGH, hope they like it! Your white lasagna sounds nummy.

  10. Found your site from Bitten.

    Your chard leaves are amazing. Mine haven't gotten that big but I think I'll still be able to try the lasagna. It sounds yummy.

  11. Hi Emily, thanks for visiting! I saw the chard on our blog. Looks a lot more tender than my monsters. Try the lasagna, and use a lot!