Kale-lelujah! A Praiseworthy Sweet Potato-Kale Au Gratin

Apr 1, 2013 by

Kale-lelujah! A Praiseworthy Sweet Potato-Kale Au Gratin

Who knew there were so many kale lovers out there? I made this casserole yesterday for Easter dinner, and it was bodaciously good, and a boatload of people have asked for the recipe (adapted from my hero Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table), so here it is.

A couple caveats before we begin:

1. Despite the healthful sounding ingredients of kale and sweet potato, I don’t believe this casserole currently qualifies as heart-healthy fare. Why? Because it has enough cream in it to bring down a horse. I do think you could make a much more heart-healthy version by cutting the amount of cream and adding some chicken or vegetable broth, but I’ll get to that below.

2. The prep work in this goes really quickly IF you have a food processor. [Minor tangent: I got a Cuisinart food processor a couple years ago and I luv it with “love” intentionally misspelled. I go total fangirl over how easy it makes my life. I have no affiliation with Cuisinart (but would be happy to get free stuff from them to review, hint hint). And truly, I had a mandoline before the Cuisinart where I basically cut the top of my thumb off and had to get stitches to put it back on. So, my take on it is that a Cuisinart is cheaper than an ER visit, so everyone should have one.]

Ingredients:

3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled

3-4 leaves of kale

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 3/4 C heavy cream*

1 C shredded Gruyere cheese**

Salt and pepper

* Possible substitution – 1 C low-sodium chicken broth mixed with 3/4 C heavy cream. The purpose of the cream is obviously to make the dish taste really creamy once it’s out of the oven, but it’s also to provide some moisture to the layers of vegetable so that they cook evenly throughout the dish. That’s why I think you could lighten this up, although you still want to keep some cream to get that creamy taste to the dish.

** Possible substitution – Swiss or Emmenthal cheese instead of Gruyere. If you can spring for Gruyere, though, I HIGHLY recommend it. The Gruyere has a slightly nutty flavor that melds with the casserole like buttah. Mwah! (Imagine me kissing my fingers in a cheffy way right now)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a mandoline or food processor with a spinning Ninja disc, slice the sweet potatoes into thin discs about 1/8 inch thick. Rip the kale leaves off the stem and then tear them up into smaller pieces (bite-sized).

2. Warm cream and chopped garlic together to a simmer in small saucepan.

Sweet potato kale au gratin partially assembled

God bless my Cuisinart

3. Butter or spray cooking spray on a 2 1/2 – 3 quart casserole dish. Lay a layer of sweet potato discs in the bottom of the dish, slightly overlapping them. Salt and pepper the sweet potato. Strew about a third of your kale pieces on top of the layer.  Spoon a couple ladles-full of your garlic cream sauce over the kale and sweet potato, lightly pressing down so that the sauce gets to all the pieces.

4. Repeat your layering process two more times, or until your sweet potato and kale run out.

5. Sprinkle the shredded Gruyere over top of the dish, and if some happens to fall in your mouth on the way, well, that’s the cook’s prerogative.

Unbaked sweet potato-kale au gratin

Unbaked au gratin

6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 min. The dish is done if you can easily poke a knife down through the layers. If the cheese starts to brown too much, just cover the dish with aluminum foil for the last few minutes.

Sweet Potato-Kale Au Gratin halfway through Easter dinner

Yes, that’s my wine in the background

Voila! It is THAT easy, and everyone will love you forever for making it. Let me know if you make it, and how it goes!

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