Ah the mild confusion of similar recipes on the same page. Having received a gorgeous bunch of Swiss chard in my CSA box, I decided to make the Swiss chard with Parmesan recipe at the top of page 411. I began to separate the chard leaves from the stems and set aside the leaves.
Now my confusion possibly began when I read those last instructions. Set aside the leaves? The recipe had a parenthetical note saying I could make soup with them. This was just very confusing to me. If anything, I had always done the opposite: primarily used the leaves, perhaps keeping the stems for a stock or something. A recipe only involving the stems was a novelty for me. I went ahead and chopped them into 2-inch pieces.
Then, I made a béchamel sauce. After I had a large pot of béchamel, all steaming, seasoned and ready to go, I realized I'd switched recipes to the one at the bottom of the page, the chard gratin. Oh well, no concern: the first steps for the recipe were identical (in terms of describing how to chop the chard and separate the stems from the leaves) and then this one actually used the leaves, so I didn't have to worry about another recipe for the leaves. (Never mind that I had actually yet again misread the instructions and this recipe had said the exact same thing about saving the leaves for a soup... According to my brain, the recipe used the leaves, so I did. It wasn't until a few days later that I sat down to write this post and "re"-read the instructions to find that I'd completely made up the part about using the leaves.)
I cooked the stems in lightly salted boiling water for about 12 minutes, then drained them and completely missed the part of the instructions that said to cut them into small pieces. In a buttered oven proof dish, I then began layering the chard stems with layers of béchamel, grated Parmesan and chopped chard leaves (in the actual recipe it was just the stems, béchamel and cheese) until I'd used up the ingredients, ending with a layer of Parmesan. For two and a quarter pounds of chard, I used about a cup of béchamel and a cup of Parmesan.
I baked the chard in a 350º oven for about 15 minutes till it was bubbling and golden on top. The chard was delicious and with some of the taste testers that evening, it was the favourite. (I still preferred the fabulous broccoli, but the chard was a close second.) I love the nutmeg in béchamel sauce, but can sometimes find it a bit bland and wonder if this recipe would not have profited from a bit of ETBB tampering, but that will be an experiment for another time.
Tasty Factor: A Ease of Preparation: B- Modifications: Yes. Due to misreading the recipe, I included the chopped Swiss chard leaves as alternating layers with the other ingredients. I'd say it was a great mistake and I'd make it that way again, but then, I do love my greens. I also used large pieces of chard stem because I didn't see the part about cutting them smaller.