Oh happy day – my CSA started up again this week! The first few weeks of the season are usually quite leafy green-heavy. This is, of course, very healthy, but after the third week of kale and spinach, it starts to present a bit of a culinary challenge.
Last year, while Googling (actually, I was probably Swagbucking, but whatever) for kale recipes, I came across the most sinfully delicious recipe, which I have since made time and again: Potato Kale Gratin. I discovered it on this little, now defunct blog called Tap Root Farms Recipes, which is a wonderfully random collection of recipes shared by recipients of the Tap Root Farm CSA.
Anyway, back to this Potato & Kale recipe. It is NOT low-fat. It is NOT low in calories. But oh my heavens, it is mouth-wateringly good. Even my kids ask for it – and no, they don’t pick out the kale! (Of course, smother anything in butter, cream and cheese and yeah, it’s bound to be good!)
I like to serve the gratin on Shabbat with a piece of salmon and a fresh salad (CSA greens). If we are having a crowd, I’ll make a quinoa pilaf, too. That way everything but the gratin is light – and you don’t feel too weighted down from eating all that butter and cream. If I make it during the week, I serve it as the main course, together with a big salad or a pot of veggie soup.
Kale and Potato Au Gratin
Note that I have adjusted the instructions on the original recipe to make it much simpler and less patchkied.
- 1 lg bunch kale, washed,ribbed and torn or chopped roughly
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced, optional
- 2 cloves garlic sliced or pressed
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 T. butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 large potatoes peeled, sliced into 1/4″-thick rounds
- 3 T. butter, into pats
- 3/4 c. or more milk or cream (I’ve made it with milk and it’s still good, but the cream is better)
- 1 c sharp white cheddar – grated (I have a hard time finding sharp white, so we substitute without a problem)
- Grease a 2 qt casserole . Preheat oven to 350.
- Saute the onion and garlic in mixture of olive oil and butter. When onion is translucent, add the kale and saute until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When cool, chop fine.
- Make a bottom layer of sliced potatoes, then top with pats of butter and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a generous handful of grated cheese over the potatoes.
- On top of the cheese, layer the chopped kale – use your hands and just spread it out over the potatoes. You can toss on some more shredded cheese for good measure, if you like.
- Repeat the potato layer, with more butter, salt and pepper on top. Then finish off the cheese and pour the milk or cream over the entire gratin. It should come up to the top layer of the potatoes, although not fully submerge them. If you don’t have enough liquid, add some more (sometime I do half milk, half cream, if I’m feeling “healthy” – ha ha ha!)
- Bake for about 1.25 hours – checking to make sure that the milk or cream is absorbed and the gratin is “firm”. If the top is getting too brown, loosely cover with foil.
Thank you! And B’tayavon!