What is kale, you ask?
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that, once upon a time, you would have hated but your mother would have made you eat anyway. Now that you’re grown, kale is a leafy green vegetable that is sort of strange (what does one make with kale?) but you keep getting it in your produce box because it is in season. So you have to find SOMETHING to do with it because you are not going to let it go to waste (that wouldn’t be very responsible of you) and besides, kale is very good for you. It is leafy, and green. That is almost the definition of “good for you”.
If you are anything like me, you take veggies that you are unsure of and turn them into gratin. There is no vegetable that a little butter and cheese will not cure.
2 large potatoes, thinly sliced.
1 bunch kale, stems and inner ribs removed and leaves chopped.
1 medium to small onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 TB butter
1 TB flour
1 C milk
Pinch of saffron
Salt and pepper
A quick note about kale–you have to make sure that you wash the leaves very well. Buggies love to hide in kale leaves. For example, I just had a photo shoot in my bed with my kale bunch so I could get the Still Life with Steffany and Kale shot, above, and now there are bugs in my bed. Boyface is going to be upset. Moving on.
Preheat the oven to 375˚
Chop all of the vegetables and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and saute around 5 min, until the onion is starting to become soft. Add some ground black pepper. Add the kale and the saffron, and cook until the kale has reduced to about half of its original size. While you are waiting for the kale to cook, line the bottom of an 8×8 in pan with the potato slices, reserving enough potatoes for a second layer.
Return to the kale, add the flour, stir, then add the milk and simmer the entire mixture until thick. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle a layer of parmesan cheese over the potatoes, add the greens, then sprinkle another layer of parmesan. Add the final layer of potatoes on top of the greens, then add more parmesan on top of the potatoes. Cover, and put in the oven. If you don’t have a lid for the dish you are using, you can use a cookie sheet or some foil.
Bake for 30 minutes covered. After 30 minutes, uncover, and cook for a final 15 minutes. You want the cheese on top to be browned, and the potatoes to be tender.
Remove from oven and let cool before slicing.