I was effectively ejected from the Global Supper Club after moving to Philadelphia, but its recipes live on in my heart and my kitchen. This decadent kale gratin was one of the stars when our group prepared a Friendsgiving feast, and I made it this year when I hosted my family. Yes, that means I finally got the chance to roast a whole turkey (so easy- like cooking a big chicken), but I’m not sure it’s even worth sharing a recipe for that. But this kale gratin should definitely grace tables far and wide, because smokey, cheesy greens are key to warmth and happiness.
To make it, get 2 bunches of kale. Any variety will do. Wash the kale, remove the stems, and then slice the leaves into thin shreds. You’ll need about 4 packed cups of shredded kale.
Small dice 1 small onion or 2 shallots. Then, sweat them with some olive oil in a large, oven-proof sauté pan.
Once softened, add the kale and a splash of white wine. To help the kale wilt, cover your pan, and toss the greens occasionally. Season the kale lightly with salt and pepper. Once wilted, transfer the kale and onion to a side bowl.
While the kale wilts, grate 2 cups of a melty cheese- gruyere and/or cheddar are good. Also grate 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.
In the empty pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Then, whisk in 1.5 tablespoons of flour. Continue whisking until they form a paste. You can add a few more sprinkles of flour if needed. Also whisk in 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
Very slowly whisk in 2 cups of whole milk. When you add the first splash of milk and whisk it in, the paste will thicken. Continue this process, allowing the milk to fully incorporate each time, and you’ll eventually get an even sauce. Heat the sauce, stirring almost constantly, until it steams and begins to thicken.
Remove the sauce from the heat, and add in most of the cheese, but reserve a few handfuls of the cheese for a topping. Preheat your oven to 325° F.
Once the cheese has melted, stir in the kale and onions. Taste, and season with salt as needed.
Top the kale with the remaining cheese and 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs for extra crispness.
Bake the gratin for 20-30 minutes, just until the edges of the gratin bubble and the cheese topping begins to brown. To maximize your crust without overcooking the kale, put the gratin under the broiler. Serve the gratin in the skillet, doling out small scoops of decadence to all you love.
- Kale- 2 bunches
- Onion- 1 small
- Olive oil
- White wine- splash
- Butter- 2 tablespoons
- Flour- 1.5 tablespoons
- Smoked paprika- 2 tablespoons
- Garlic powder- 2 teaspoons
- Cayenne pepper- 1/4 teaspoon
- Black pepper- 1/4 teaspoon +
- Whole milk- 2 cups
- Gruyere cheese- 1 block (2 cups shredded)
- Parmesan cheese- 1/2 cup shredded
- Panko breadcrumbs- 1/4 cup