Monday, October 19, 2009

Kale Gratin with Pancetta

I was excited to see kale in our CSA bag. Last time we got kale, I made Rachael Ray’s Portuguese Chouriço and Kale Soup, which was delicious. But I wanted to do something different this time, and I found another Rachael Ray recipe to try. Once the kale cooks down, it loses much of its volume. This recipe makes a small but scrumptious side dish. The caramelized pancetta and grated cheese round out the flavor of this dish.

Kale Gratin with Pancetta, Rachael Ray

1 ¼ to 1 ⅓ pounds kale, stems stripped and chopped, about 6 cups
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ pound pancetta, chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 cup cream
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg, eyeball it
Black pepper
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano

Preheat the broiler but place the oven rack on the second shelf down from the heat source.
Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a deep skillet or pot, add the kale and salt and cook 5 to 6 minutes; drain and dry the greens.

Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and pancetta. Crisp the pancetta and add the cream and garlic. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper then reduce 7 to 8 minutes to about ½ to ⅔ cup. Add cooked greens to cream and stir to coat evenly. Transfer to shallow casserole.

Toss with breadcrumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Season the crumbs with salt and pepper and combine with cheese. Place the casserole on the second shelf under broiler and brown breadcrumbs and cheese for 5 minutes.

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