Potato Kale Bake

by Melissa on November 2, 2009 · 2 comments

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Hi friends! It’s me again! This time with an entry for the CSA Super Extreme Ultimate Challenge! As you saw in Gwen’s post, last week we received a whole metric buttload of kale. The trouble is I don’t particularly like kale, and my husband has a hardwired aversion to all things new and leafy and green. What to do?

Scanning around the internet, I saw a Gourmet recipe for a Potato and Kale Galette that was awfully similar to a recipe in my repertoire called Potatoes Anna. I’m a big believer in having a few core recipes that can be modified to make a different dish. Adding kale to Potatoes Anna seemed like a prime candidate. I was hoping the potatoes would mellow out the harshness of the kale, and I figured that if you add enough garlic and Gruyere to anything it’s bound to be good.  Luckily, Gourmet was right on the money, and this dish even earned a “Mmmmmm!” from my veggie phobic hub.

You will need:

– 1 metric buttload of kale. To be more precise, about 4 good sized bunches, to cook down to about 1 cup. I used a variety of kales, and a little chard. I think any hearty green would hold up well in this dish.

– 2 medium Russet potatoes

– 2 cloves garlic, minced very fine

– 1 cup grated Gruyere (use a little less if you’re feeling health conscious)

– 1 tablespoon butter, melted

– salt and pepper

– olive oil

First, set your oven to 450 degrees. Then, wash and dry your greens well. Roll them up and chop them in a fine julienne. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, then add the kale and a heavy pinch of salt. You want to wilt the greens down well in this step, but the real cooking will happen in the oven. About 2 minutes before you pull the kale from the heat, add the garlic and cook briefly. Next, we need to remove some of the moisture from the kale. Place it in a fine strainer or on a bunch of paper towels and gently press the excess moisture out. You may want to chop the kale even finer at this point if it still seems really chunky.

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Peel the potatoes and slice them very thin. Using a mandolin is best to get even pieces, but if you have to do it the old fashioned way, I’d aim for between an 1/8th and 1/16th of an inch. Brush the inside of a lidded, oven safe dish with some melted butter, then start placing the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the dish so they overlap slightly. Once you have one layer of potatoes complete, brush with a small amount of the butter, then sprinkle very lightly with salt, pepper, and Gruyere. Remember, go very light on the seasonings here, because they will add up over the layers. Then, sprinkle half of the cooked kale over the potatoes. Add another potato layer, season, then a kale layer, and one last potato layer without the cheese. Cover, and then place in the oven for 20 minutes. After the time is up, remove the cover, and then back in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the Gruyere to the top, and then 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes, so the potatoes and cheese can set a bit. Then, slice like you would a pie and serve!

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