Kale Gratins

~ Kale Gratins ~

It takes a village. I consider myself lucky to be connected to an abundant group of friends whom I’ve met over the past few years through my blog and various food communities. These talented cooks and writers have become colleagues and pals whom I also consider like-minded souls. In this era of the far reaching internet, some of these friendships remain virtual (yet they feel so real) while others have luckily manifested into get-togethers and family dinners.

Which brings me to this lovely little side dish. The inspiration came to me this week from a post by my friend Steve who writes the wonderful blog Oui Chef. I haven’t met Steve in person yet, but I feel like we go a long way back, sharing similar food and travel interests, and a passion to feed our families well while sharing in the pleasure of cooking. He posted this cozy recipe for Creamed Kale that had my attention the minute I read it. Blame it on the rain that day, or just the fact that I adore kale, but I wanted to eat it right then and there. Steve dedicated this recipe to another good friend of ours, Liz, who authors the blog Liz the Chef. A while back Liz posted a phenomenal recipe for Spinach Gratin on Food 52 (which is where these friendships began – thanks Food52!) Liz and I have had the good fortune to meet a number of times, sharing meals at our dining table and connecting at food blog events. Her spinach gratin has been on my mental to-do list since the moment I saw it. And when Steve’s recipe popped up, I had all of the inspiration I needed to make these little Kale Gratins – thanks to my village of food-loving friends.

Kale Gratin

I served these as an accompaniment to steaming bowls of Cioppino Stew this weekend. Makes 6 individual gratins or one large gratin.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, about 1 cup
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 bunches kale (I used a combination of curly and Tuscan), ribs removed, coarsely chopped – about 10 cups

Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat butter in a deep skillet or wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, until bubbling and golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and cream. Simmer, stirring, until thickened. Whisk in 1/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove pan from heat and add kale. Stir to completely coat the kale leaves; they will begin to wilt. When the kale is thoroughly coated and slightly wilted, divide between gratin dishes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Transfer to oven and bake until the tops of the gratins are golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.

If you like this you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Roasted Yellow Beet and Ricotta Tian
Potato Gratins
Root Vegetable Gratin

16 thoughts on “Kale Gratins

  1. fantastic and i hope you will not growl if i use my own homemade parmesan instead, then i can make this today! you have very good taste in food , I am sure that when you and your lifetime friends get together you just Feast! c

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! I’m definitely putting this on our “to make” list. My kids would even enjoy this one. And I like anything I can make in ramekins. 🙂

  3. I think you have the perfect storm of a recipe here – yours tops the chart, Lynda! I so love your style of making individual ramekins – remember the berry crisp ?!

  4. A wonderful dish! Those gratins must be really tasty.

    I wish I lived close to other bloggers. Most of my virtual friends live on other continents…



  5. As a lover of kale, I can’t wait to make these gratins! What a perfect marriage of recipes. Food52 is such a marvelous and inspiring community!

  6. We are all so on the same page! I made a kale and cauliflower tart this afternoon for dinner tonight. Love your version – i’ll have to check Steve’s too 🙂

  7. I feel the same about the folks that I follow on the internet. It’s such an interesting phenomenon, I’m just very glad that there are small corners of the world I get to travel with on my computer, into the kitchens and lives of people I “virtually” know.
    Wonderful sounding recipe, especially served with Cioppino!

  8. This sounds delicious!

    If only I had a friend like you, waiting and formulating for when we get together to try out new recipes or ideas! I might have to try this Food 52 you speak of to try to find some! Currently, all I have is the coolest best friend who lives several states away but has only ever made one (delicious) salad for me despite her going to culinary school! She’s a culinary pirate of sorts.

  9. What a whimsical side dish!

    I hear you about the Internet making the world smaller. M husband and I eloped a year and a half ago. We are finally getting around to having that belated “reception” we keep teasing our family with. About 20 percent of the invitees are local food bloggers, because over the last few years, some of them have become like family to me. I have so much more. In common with some of these folks than I do people in other “circles.” something about a common link in food just brings us all together, and I’m so grateful for it. So cheers to this wonderful community of ours!


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