Sardine and Swiss Chard Gratin

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


In this French casserole, oil-packed canned sardines are layered with creamy Swiss chard and baked under a crunchy layer of bread crumbs. This recipe first appeared in our April 2014 issue with Mary Sue Milliken's story Forgotten Fish.


  • 1 12 lb. Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves torn into 2″ pieces
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 12 cup flour
  • 2 12 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère
  • 14 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 (4-oz.) cans sardine fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 12 cup panko bread crumbs


Step 1

Cook chard in salted boiling water until wilted, 1–2 minutes. Drain, let cool, and squeeze dry. Heat 4 tbsp. butter plus oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and shallots until golden, 5–7 minutes. Add flour; cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, cream, salt, and pepper; boil until thick, 2–3 minutes. Stir in chard, half the Gruyère, the nutmeg, and eggs.

Step 2

Heat oven to 400°; grease an 8″ x 11″ baking dish with oil. Spread half the chard mixture into dish; top with half the sardines. Repeat layering. Stir melted butter and bread crumbs in a bowl; sprinkle over top with remaining Gruyère. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

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