Sunday, October 2, 2011

Garlicky Green Gratin / the case for kale

Cooking Light featured this recipe in their cheap eats section in October's magazine.  Here is how to make it gluten free and ramp up the flavor with bitter greens and prevent the watery results many testers got from making this recipe per their original directions. 

I like Kale any ol' time, but it is harvested in the fall (through LATE fall) since it is super hearty and can survive frost, making it cost effective since it can be locally grown and is perfectly in season right now, when many veggies go up in price. It doesn't cook down as much as spinach and has a bitter, peppery taste that is a real stand out among typical savory.

This right here is a great QUICK cook ahead meal.  Perfect for making after dinner on Sunday and enjoying during the week as a lunch on its own or for dinner with a side of brown basmati rice, oven roasted potatoes or blanched lemony asparagus. Serves 4.  

I actually made this last Sunday and we didn't touch it until Wednesday.  I think refrigerating this after baking sets the mixture a bit more, making for a firmer casserole. 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces pork or turkey sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (or less per your taste - I LOVE nutmeg! allspice or even cinnamon can be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill white rice flour)
  • 2 cups skim or 1% milk
  • large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces fresh kale
  • 4 ounces fresh arugula
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I am still using toasted and processed gluten free waffles)


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

  • 2. Heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sausage, salt, and pepper; sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. 
  • 3.  Stir in flour; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine milk and eggs, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium. Stir milk mixture into sausage mixture; bring to a boil, stir in kale and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; fold in arugula. Spoon mixture into a glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. The greater the surface area, the firmer the mixture will set while baking.
  • 4. Add 1/2 cup of gluten free bread crumbs to the top of mixture.  Top with parmesan cheese.  Bake for 12 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

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