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    Yield: 4 to 6 servings
    Greens are now in farmers’ markets across the country, and at least once a week during the fall and winter months, I make this gratin with the greens that accumulate in my refrigerator. I tend to buy beets quite often, which is like buying two vegetables in one as I never let them cut off the greens at the market, so often the greens that go into this gratin are beet greens. Kale and chard also make good choices. The dish is from Provence. What I find most interesting about it – and what everybody loves about it – is the way rice is used as a binder. It makes for a substantial dish, one that’s as good cold or room temperature as hot. My son and I usually polish off one of these in a couple of days. If you have leftovers but not enough for a meal, cut them into diamonds and serve as an appetizer or as a snack.
1 1/2 pounds greens (beet greens, chard – Swiss, red, yellow -- kale), stemmed and washed, or a 1-pound bag of stemmed, washed greens
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2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
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1 medium or 1/2 large onion, chopped
2 plump garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage – use less of the stronger herbs like rosemary and sage), or 1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme and crumbled dried rosemary
3 large eggs
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1/2 cup rice, cooked (1 cup cooked; I prefer a short or medium-grain rice such as the Italian Arborio or carnaroli used for risotto)
1/2 cup milk (1% or 2%)
3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup, tightly packed)
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freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin with olive oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the greens. Wash them in 2 changes of water, lifting them from the water so that the dirt stays behind. Fill a bowl with ice water.

2. When the water comes to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, and the greens. Boil (blanch) the greens just until tender, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how sturdy your greens are. Beet greens and chard will be ready in a minute or two. Kale will take longer, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer the greens to the ice water. Let sit just until cool, a few minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water by taking up bunches of the greens, making a fist around them and squeezing. Chop coarsely and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant, then stir in the greens, the herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir together for a minute, just until the greens are well mixed with the onions and coated with oil. Remove from the heat.

4. Beat the eggs in a medium-size bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper to taste, and the milk, and whisk together. Stir in the rice, greens, and Gruyère. Scrape into the baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of oil. Place in the oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Serve hot or room temperature. This is also good cold and makes a great lunch.

Advance preparation:
The blanched greens will keep in the refrigerator in a covered bowl for 3 or 4 days. The dish can be prepared through Step 3 up to a day before assembling the gratin. Keep the cooked greens etc. in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. The gratin can be made a day ahead and reheated. Leftovers will be good for 5 days.

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