In my opinion, a big juicy steak is always best—particularly at any great, old-school steakhouse—with a side of buttery-rich creamed spinach. Now, as anyone who likes creamed spinach can attest, all creamed spinaches are not created alike. It’s not that hard to find versions that are drowned in cream, overcooked to the point of being mush, or greasy pools of flavorless glop.
Now let me paint a different picture. Here’s my ultimate version: tender with a bit of a bite; cloaked in flavorful, cheese-spiked sauce that isn’t gloppy; and topped with crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs. Also, I like spinach, but I LOVE chard. It’s like the perfect green because it retains its texture but is still tender and flavorful. Plus, if you use red chard, it makes this whole dish more colorful. So I swapped it out for this dish.
Start by blanching the chard leaves; this helps them retain their green color. Also, don’t throw out the stems! They are not only colorful but offer great character. I use more milk than cream (you really only need a tiny bit), and I like mine with plenty of Parmesan cheese, but you can cut that out if you like. Don’t cut out the breadcrumbs though, as they really do make this side dish shine.
This is perfect served alongside a big juicy steak, including roasted beef tenderloin. It’s rich and decadent enough for the holiday table too.
Creamed Chard with Buttery Breadcrumbs
- 3 bunches chard (about 2 lbs)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Strip the stalks from the leaves. Trim the base of the stalks and discard, then thinly slice the stalks. Place in a bowl and set aside. Roughly chop the chard leaves.