Welcome to the world of kale gratin!
You might just die of deliciousness because this stuff is truly incredible.
Okay so remember last year when I made the brussels sprouts gratin? And it was utterly life changing? So rich and decadent but still… brussels?
This might rival that.
Because here’s the thing. I love both of them equally. I don’t know how to choose. Both dishes are absolutely incredible. But they are similar enough that you don’t really need BOTH dishes on Thanksgiving. Especially if your family is like mine, and they may not even touch it. Because #change.
Anyway, before we get into that, and like, WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE?!, let’s talk about the kale gratin!
Two kinds of kale. Tuscan and green curly kale. I love the mish mash of the two types. It’s not necessary – if you only have access to one, you can totally use it. But I love the two together. The tuscan is a bit more crisp. The curly green is a bit more chewy.
Now you know that I have a love affair with kale chips. I don’t care if they are soooo 2008, I love making them, we love eating it, and they happen in this house at least once a week. They are such a great way to get in some greens.
So that’s what was so appealing to me about this gratin. The bottom of the dish turns creamy, like greens cooked with cream and cheese. But the top pieces of kale sticking out get crispy, along with the cheese sprinkled on top, and it’s crunchy and flavorful and crisp and a texture lover’s dream.
I will tell you that you can even make this ahead of time! While it is amazing when it first comes out of the oven, I’ve made the entire thing ahead of time before (multiple times!) and if you reheat it in the oven, it still comes out great.
The flavor is SUPERB. Three kinds of cheese, two kinds of kale, cream, nutmeg, mustard and crunchy breadcrumbs on top. It’s almost like kale mac and cheese without noodles, if that could be a thing. Really, really incredible.
Now how to choose?! How do you know if you should make this one of the brussels?
This kale gratin is slightly (and I do mean slightly) less filling and rich that the brussels gratin, so take that into account. It’s also a bit easier – all you really do is tear kale leaves, toss them with cheese, cover them in cream and bake them into oblivion.
While in the oven, the cheese and the cream come together to create a sauce that you won’y be able to resist. Seriously. Just try!
I find that the kale gratin is more weeknight-friendly than the brussels gratin. It’s not quite as filling, so the dish tends to go quicker than the brussels. But they are both fantastic, and it’s really just a question of which veggie you like more.
Can’t I just have both? A meal of gratins please.
Double Kale Gratin
Yield: 8 people
1 hr 10 mins
This double kale gratin has two kinds of kale, three kinds of cheese, cream and crunchy breadcrumbs. It will be your new favorite side dish!
- 1 large bunch of curly green kale, leaves torn from stem
- 1 large bunch of tuscan (lacinato) kale, leaves torn from stem
- 1 shallot, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 4 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons seasoned fine breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
Tear the kale into pieces and place it in the baking dish. It may be overflowing, but that’s good! It will cook way down in the oven. Toss the shallot into the kale and season it all with the salt and pepper, tossing well.
Toss the cheeses together in a bowl. Add almost all of (about three quarters) the cheese to the kale, tossing it well to combine.
In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the garlic, cream, mustard and nutmeg. Pour the cream mixture over top of the kale. Cover with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
Bake the gratin for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp and the edges are bubbly. Serve immediately!
Note: this can be made ahead of time, but it is best to reheat right before serving!
It’s not the prettiest, but it is the most delish!