So I made this kale-rice gratin-ish sort of thing last night, and I put a bit of it in a wee little white scalloped mini-gratin dish thingy and set it aside, thinking it would be lovely to take some pictures of it today in natural light. Terminally cute, it was, with its topping of slivered almonds and delicately sprinkled paprika. And the recipe made ever so much, and there was plenty left in the great big red gratin dish, and I was happy just musing on how nice that picture would be.
And then Jim came home last night and ate half of what was in the wee little scalloped dish.
(Yes, just half.)
(No, he didn’t even see the big red gratin dish all chockful of the rest of it.)
So you will have to use your imagination to envision how sweet that dear little dish looked all full of kale-ricey goodness. Sigh.
Kale-Brown Rice Gratin
Serves eight; leftovers reheat brilliantly
Adapted from a recipe in Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook
2 cups long-grain brown rice
3 cups water
Butter for greasing pan (or cooking spray, if you insist)
2 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 bunches kale, tough stems cut away, leaves finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated=best)
1 to 3 tsp Drunken Angel Hot Sauce or other thick hot sauce (Moroccan harissa would also work well)
1 cup milk
1-1/2 to 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (medium or sharp=best)
1/2 to 1 cup slivered almonds
Combine the rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 35 minutes, until rice is tender. Uncover and fluff thoroughly with a fork. Dump into a nice big mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Butter a large baking dish–I used a large oval gratin dish and had some of the mix left over.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil (or butter) over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add kale, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring, until kale wilts down and is heated through, about 5 minutes more. Add to rice, along with nutmeg and hot sauce, and stir gently to combine.
Beat eggs lightly with a fork. Whisk together with milk. Pour over rice mixture and stir to combine. Add cheese and half the almonds; toss gently until nicely mixed.
Spread mixture in prepared dish. Sprinkle with reserved almonds and a goodly amount of paprika.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until browned and a bit crispish up top.