Kale and almond gratin – a unique and sumptuous dish

kale almond gratin nigel slater

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.

kale almond gratin nigel slater

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 https://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 https://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

Olive oil

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.

I’m back! With reindeer cookies to make with kids and to decorate the Christmas tree

reindeer biscuits annabel karmel

After 3 months without internet I am back to blogging and raring to go!

I made some simple, festive tasting reindeer cookies with my 3 year old son over the weekend.  They have curly wurly chunks for ears, chocolate buttons for eyes and a cherry for the mouth, and look very sweet in a clumsy sort of way.  As my son is only really interested in superheroes, I decided to make and bake the cookies on my own and just get him to decorate, and I think he quite enjoyed it.  We will put what is left on the Christmas tree.

Allow about 20 mins prep, 15 mins for cooking and 5-10 mins for decorating.

reindeer biscuits annabel karmel

The finished product – minus an ear thanks to a greedy Freddy

Coming soon is a lovely Nigel Slater kale and almond gratin which I reckon will make a great veggie side dish for Christmas dinner (or any meal).  Even the carnivorous boyfriend gave it the thumbs up.  Also, my brother is staying for Christmas so I am looking for inspiration for a gluten free day – let me know if you have any excellent suggestions!

In the meantime here is the reindeer cookie recipe, courtesy of Annabel Karmel.  Make sure you decorate them about 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven, when they have cooled a fair bit but are still quite soft.

Ingredients (makes 11 big biscuits/22 smaller ones)

350g plain flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch salt

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

175g butter

150g caster sugar/light brown sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

Smallish chocolate buttons

Few curly wurly’s

Glace cherries

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees/gas mark 3.  Measure the flour, spices, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in to a bowl.  Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan.  Pour in to the dry ingredients and mix together.  Lightly knead it to make a dough (i.e. move it about with your hands for one minute).  Form in to 11 or 22 balls of dough (depending how big you want them).  Pinch one end of the ball to form a point, then flatten out with your hand.  Place on a baking sheet or non-stick baking tray.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly golden but still slightly soft.

Leave the cookies to cool for approximately 5 minutes, until they have cooled quite a lot but are still a bit soft.  Put chunks of the curly wurly’s for ears, chocolate buttons for the eyes and a cherry for the mouth.  Eat and/or decorate the Christmas tree with them.

Recipe by Annabel Karmel