Chard & Potato Casserole

Sometimes I make things that are not successful. My mother always used to say, “If we don’t like it, we never have to make it again.” I liked this well enough, but it wasn’t good enough to merit the amount of *effort* it took. The recipe fits on one page in the cookbook it came from, but it took me two hours to assemble this and then another hour for it to bake, after which the potatoes in it weren’t done (I had *thought* the casserole looked kind of dry, which is why the potatoes didn’t cook), so I added a little water, covered it, and put it back in for another half hour. More water at the beginning might have produced a better result at the end. By the point I got it out of the oven it would have to have been pretty wonderful for me to not mind all the work I had done on it. And it wasn’t that wonderful. So I wouldn’t suggest making this. Just pointing out that even good cooks have failures.

extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. Swiss chard (I used 1 lb. chard, 1 lb. kale, and the beet greens from one bunch of beets)
4 large scallions, including greens, chopped
2 large onions, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 in. rounds
2 t. dried oregano
1 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 c. chopped, peeled, drained plum tomatoes

1. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large heavy skillet and wilt the chard, in batches, until it is reduced in volume by about half. Remove and drain in a colander. When all the chard is wilted, add 2 more T. olive oil to the skillet and sauté the scallions, onions, and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and translucent. Remove and toss with the greens in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add 2-3 more T. olive oil to the skillet and sauté the potatoes until translucent and lightly golden. Remove.

3. Lightly oil a 10 or 12 in round by 3 in. deep baking pan, preferably earthenware. Preheat oven to 375. Spread a third of the potatoes on the bottom in one layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley and spoon 1/2 c. of the tomatoes over them. Spread half the Swiss chard mixture on top. Repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of potatoes and tomatoes. Press the mixture down a little with a large spoon. Bake, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are golden and very tender and until most of the liquid from the greens has been absorbed. Remove, cool for 30 minutes or more, and serve.

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