- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 16 ounces Tuscan in or dinosaur kale, sliced thinly (about 8 cups chopped)
For the béchamel
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Freshly grated nutmeg
For the breadcrumb topping
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Zest of one half lemon
- ¼ cup melted butter
- Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a film of olive oil. When the oil is warmed, add the onion with a pinch of salt, cook, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened and then add garlic, cooking until it becomes fragrant.
- Next add all of the kale, stirring to coat with the olive oil.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the kale has wilted and become darker green. Set aside while your kale is cooking, place a heavy bottomed sauce pot over medium-high heat and add the butter.
- When the butter has melted whisk in the flour, cook for a few seconds until the butter is absorbed by the flour and you have a wet sand mixture.
- Next whisk in the garlic and cream and season with a good amount of salt, freshly ground pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 20 minutes or so.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon zest and melted butter. Set aside.
- Transfer kale into a baking dish.
- Pour the béchamel on top and then top with an even layer of the breadcrumb mixture.
- Place in the oven uncovered for about 20 minutes, until everything is warmed through and bubbly.
- Finish under the broiler for a minute or two until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes before serving
- Dark greens like kale hold up to the cooking process longer than spinach.
- Start the onions first. If the garlic cooks too long, it will burn and turn bitter.
- Start with two times as much greens as you will serve since it cooks down.
- Strain the kale so the gratin doesn’t become watery.