Potato and Kale Skillet Gratin

Potato + Kale Skillet Gratin

At the tail end of last month, during that part of the year when the light seems kind of haunted in all its nuanced depth and shadow, 101 Cookbooks posted a simple recipe for a rustic casserole that inspired me to make my own version that very night. Go take a look at the image and tell me you wouldn’t do the same. I improvised, a lot, and what emerged wasn’t really an adaptation of hers so much as an inspired casserole of my own that took advantage of what I had on hand.

Potato + Kale Skillet Gratin

The success of this gratin owes a lot to the simple, winning combination of potatoes and cheese, here a happy marriage of piquant Parmesan and creamy goat cheese. I also omitted milk. Who needs milk when you’ve got cheese? The kale’s presence is subtle but welcome – a little bit of tooth and texture and a burst of sharp green in between all the savory and starchy goodness of this incredibly satisfying winter dish. Plus, only seven ingredients! You can’t beat that.

POTATO AND KALE SKILLET GRATIN
Yield: 6 servings

3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
5 cups shredded kale, lightly packed
3 cups leeks, diced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons butter
salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (Place your cast-iron skillet on the stove so it absorbs some of the heat from the oven.)

Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the potatoes until they are still firm but cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain, rinse under cool water, and drain again. Slice the potatoes into thin rounds, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Salt the potatoes lightly and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the leeks and saute until just soft, stirring occasionally, about three minutes. Add half the kale to the pan and stir; once it has reduced, add the remaining kale and saute until the greens are just wilted. Stir in the minced thyme and remove from heat.

Lightly grease your warmed skillet, and arrange a layer of potatoes in the bottom. Over that, arrange about 1/2 of the kale and leek mix. Press it down lightly so that the surface is somewhat flat. Crumble 1/2 of the goat cheese over the greens, and sprinkle 1/3 of the Parmesan. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, the remaining greens and goat cheese, and another third of the Parmesan. Top the gratin with a final layer of potatoes, the remainder of the Parmesan cheese, and a healthy sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden.

Note: Freezes well.

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by Kimberley

show hide 17 comments

Nicole Franzen - January 25, 2011 - 8:30 pm

nom nom nom looks yum. <3 kale

Nicole - January 26, 2011 - 11:01 am

Gorgeous! And another great way to use kale. Omitting the milk seems smart of you–I’m not one for soggy casseroles.

leela - January 26, 2011 - 2:44 pm

this looks super delish and comfy and fresh!

foodies at home - January 26, 2011 - 9:40 pm

Great way to use up one’s winter kale! And yes…potatoes and cheese is a winning combination!

stephanie - January 27, 2011 - 1:05 pm

Wow! Now that looks amazing! I am going to try that one for sure. It is so pretty!

NicoleD - January 28, 2011 - 11:37 am

This is all of my favorite things at one time! Love the short ingredient list, too. Genius.

kimberley - January 28, 2011 - 4:02 pm

@Nicole F: nom nom right back :)

Nicole: Indeed! Someone alerted me to the frequency of kale on this blog. Guess I’m in love.

@leela: I think it’s all of those things!

@foodies at home: Yes, kale! Looks like we’re starting a kale club.

@stephanie: thanks! It’s so simple. Love your clever blog name.

@NicoleD: Yippee!

Peggy - January 29, 2011 - 7:45 am

This sounds absolutely delicious! I’m hungry for breakfast now! =)

branny - February 2, 2011 - 1:18 pm

I adore kale and it is so good with potatoes!

Lynda - March 14, 2011 - 9:48 am

How did I miss this? Kale+potato+cheese+gratin = heaven!

Michelle - July 3, 2012 - 8:47 am

Stumbling onto your blog never looked so good! This looks so, so good!

Paula - January 26, 2013 - 6:32 am

I made this last evening. I had to substitute a couple of the ingredients: half an onion (that is all I had on hand), cream cheese for the goat cheese, and freshly grated Romano. Instead of the skillet, I used a 2 quart oval casserole dish. This was delicious! If you have leftovers, fry an egg the next morning and serve it on top–awesome and hearty breakfast!

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