This is a dish to get excited about. It is unusual and delicious, and even my boyfriend (who normally only shows enthusiasm for meat and junk food) loved it. The kale is super healthy, the addition of almonds is interesting and crunchy, and the creamy sauce contrasts nicely with the veg. We had it with veggie sausages. I might even serve it as a side dish on Christmas day. The gratin takes between 25 – 35 mins to prepare plus 30 mins to cook.
The recipe is by Nigel Slater, a chef who appears to have no ego, just simple passion. I recently read his autobiography TOAST which I would thoroughly recommend. I like the way he is just as nostalgic about angel delight as he is about posh food.
For another brilliant Nigel Slater gratin recipe check this out http://katielovescooking.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/hearty-spinach-and-chickpea-gratin-20-mins-prep45-mins-oven-cooking/. And for my post about making gratin with your leftover veg click here http://katielovescooking.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/how-to-tart-up-your-leftover-veg/. Can you tell I like gratin?!
Kale and almond gratin – ingredients (serves 4)
2 red onions, chopped
150g kale, roughly chopped
50g flaked almonds
300ml double cream
500ml béchamel – either shop-bought or homemade (if making it you will need a little butter, flour and milk)
Two handfuls grated parmesan
Set the oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 6. Warm some oil in a pan then fry the onions until soft. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add half of the flaked almonds. Ensure everything is mixed and tip the mixture in to an ovenproof dish.
If you need to make the béchamel, put a big chunk of butter/marge in to a pan on a low heat and once melted add approx 1 tbsp. of flour, or enough so that the mixture is like a wet paste. Slowly add milk until it resembles a thick white sauce, add the double cream, one handful of parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the kale and onion then scatter with the remaining cheese and reserved almonds. Bake for approx. 30 mins until golden and bubbling.