Black Kale Gratin


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This dish has earthy, complex flavors. The caramelized onions provide sweetness, and the cream-and-egg custard lends a pleasing texture. It really feeds a crowd, making it a great choice for your Thanksgiving table.

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  • 4 big bunches of lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale) or any dark leafy green
  • 1 Tbs. salt, plus additional to taste, divided
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 C. whipping cream
  • Pepper to taste

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Fill an extra-large stockpot with water, leaving enough room to add the greens; bring to a boil. Wash greens, slip leaves off stem and chop roughly. When the water is boiling, add 1 Tbs. salt and wait for a rolling boil. Add the greens to the water and cook no longer than 3 minutes; greens should be wilted, but bright in color.

Drain greens quickly and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Squeeze dry (or use a salad spinner), chop finely and squeeze again. You should have about 3 C. of very dry greens.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pan, sauté sliced onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil over medium heat until golden (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and combine greens with the onion mixture. Stir in the eggs and cream and season with salt and pepper.

Turn the mixture into a casserole dish measuring approximately 8x12 inches. Bake for 30 minutes. If the top isn't golden and bubbly, broil for a minute or two.

From: Chef Leather Storrs, Noble Rot, Portland

Yield: 8 servings

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