Friday, December 7, 2012

Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions and Baby Swiss

Ahh the interim between two holidays, it’s a great time for imaginative cooking. When I say imaginative cooking, I actually mean dreaming up elaborate and creative menus for the next holiday which you may or more likely may never execute. Still, I love those hours spent in my head. Sitting on the couch in my pajamas, curled up with a cup of coffee and a cookbook, I believe I can make three quiches, a ham and a French toast casserole before people lead a revolt on Christmas morning to open presents. So if you need another recipe to add to your wish list and you haven’t reached holiday blog/pinterest overload yet, please keep reading.

This spinach wild rice casserole makes a great side dish to any winter holiday meal. A little more creative than your average mashed potato, this casserole still retains a comfort food quality thanks to the good stuff, aka butter and breadcrumbs. 

Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions and Baby Swiss
serves 10 to 12 as a side
adapted from the smitten kitchen cookbook

3 tbsp. butter. (cut into1 tbsp. cubes)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
½ tsp. salt plus more for seasoning
black pepper
8 oz. stemmed and roughly chopped kale, about 4 cups
2 cubs grated Swiss cheese
¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup dry fine breadcrumbs

1.     Cook the rice according to package directions
2.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees
3.     Heat 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, sprinkle with ½ tsp. salt and a large pinch of pepper.  Cook until caramelized, about 30 minutes stirring frequently. Add kale and cook for another 5 minutes until wilted. In a large bowl, stir together wild rice, kale and 1 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
4.     Use 1 tbsp. of butter to generously coat a 2-4 quart baking dish. Spread the rice, kale, cheese mixture into the baking dish. Evenly pour broth over the mixture, followed by the remaining cup of cheese. Toss breadcrumbs with remaining tbsp. butter. Sprinkle over cheese.
5.     Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on the top.

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