My husband has never made a fuss about being an “at-home” vegetarian, and it is for this reason that I try to keep my ingredients simple, familiar and not frightening. I figure that it’s the least that I can do for him. The other day, however, my sister-in-law posted a Facebook link to a recipe on the blog of a friend of hers and I knew immediately that Jake and I would be delving into the unexplored (at least to us) world of hearty, leafy greens. This takes a bit more prep than I am used to, but it is SO worth it in the end!
Red Potato and Red Kale Gratin
from Kale and Quinoa
*8 medium red potatoes (unpeeled and washed)
*1 small bunch red kale (cut into bite sized pieces)
*1 cup milk
(*Approx. 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter—I actually forgot to add this before I put it in the oven and it still turned out great! Might add it the next time just to see!)
*Salt and pepper to taste
*Cheese (optional) I used shredded Emmental because the Gruyere at Whole Foods was prohibitively expensive. A soft goat cheese might be good too…play with it and find the flavor combos that suit your palate!
*Spray a 9 x 12 gratin (or casserole) dish with non-stick spray or rub with butter
*Thinly slice the potatoes (I rarely peel potatoes because I am very very lazy and because there are nutrients in the peels, but peel them if you would like).
*Make a layer of potato slices in the gratin dish, overlapping them slightly.
*Make a layer with the chopped kale. (You could really use any kind of vegetable here) Season with salt and fresh pepper
*Continue making alternating layers of potatoes and kale. I ended up with 3 layers of potatoes and 2 layers of kale.
(*I grated 4 cloves of garlic into the 1 cup of milk to add more flavor)
*Carefully pour 1 cup milk over the layers.
(I forgot to do this—>Generously dot the top of the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of cut butter.)
*Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour until browned and bubbling. After 30 minutes, take the dish out and press the potatoes flat with a spatula to keep the top moist. (I am assuming that my top layer of potatoes was dry and not really cooked at this point because I forgot to add the butter. I did, however, at this point pour another ¼ cup of milk over the top and it seemed to do the trick.) Return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and assess the cooking of the top potatoes, add cheese, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so. You may need more or less time depending on the size/thickness of the potato slices. The gratin is done when the potatoes are soft and the top is golden brown (but try not to burn the cheese ).
We are no longer frightened of kale! It goes really well with the potatoes and cheese, and I think that it’s a really good way to introduce heartier greens to a perhaps apprehensive audience. I was sorry to have forgotten the butter, but in all honesty it was not missed! The extra milk and the cheese were enough for us. Please give this a try while the weather is still cool and these greens are still in season. This was delicious!