Kale Sprout, Spinach and Arugula Gratin with Cambozola is the perfect side dish to pair with simply roasted meat or poultry! Mildly bitter and chewy kale sprouts, sweet spinach, peppery arugula, smoky bacon and mild Cambozola cheese combine for an elegant yet easy vegetable gratin.
When the holiday season pressure is on, I want an easy dish that delivers maximum culinary “wow!” It’s happening here with this Kale Sprout, Spinach and Arugula Gratin with Cambozola!
Mildly bitter and chewy kale sprouts, sweet spinach, peppery arugula, smoky bacon and mild Cambozola cheese combine for an elegant yet easy vegetable gratin that’s perfect with simply roasted meat and poultry. I was a little nervous about combining the assertive flavors of kale and blue cheese but they work beautifully together!
Here’s a Pro Menu Planning Tip!
- If your entree is elaborate, then pair simple side dishes with it. If your entree is on the simple side, then feel free to serve a more elaborate side dish. While this dish is easy to prepare, it has a real culinary “wow” factor!
What are kale sprouts (aka Kalettes?)
Kale sprouts are a cross between red Russian kale and Brussels sprouts (often sold as Kalettes®). Could a vegetable be any more perfect?
Whole Foods often carries them or you can find them in the specialty vegetable section of your grocery store.
Now, don’t sweat it if you can’t find kale sprouts; a bunch of kale torn into pieces or a container of baby kale will do. If your local market does not carry kale sprouts, put in a request. Most grocers are happy to fulfill requests.
What is Cambozola?
If you’re not familiar with Cambozola®, you’re going to fall in love. It’s a very mild blue cheese made in Germany that’s a combination of triple cream cheese and Italian gorgonzola which is often referred to as a “blue brie.” You can find it at any specialty cheese counter.
A crispy topping of coarse dry breadcrumbs or buttery cracker crumbs and mwahhhh!!!
In addition to serving this gratin with roasted meat or poultry, add creamy mashed potatoes or cauliflower and a green vegetable for the perfect meal.
More great vegetable side dish recipes to pair with meat and poultry:
- Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Mustard Vinaigrette
- Asparagus Cordon Bleu
- Parmesan Roasted Cabbage Wedges
- Roasted Cauliflower with Mustard Caper Browned Butter
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 1 (6-ounce) bag kale sprouts, halved
- 2 (5-ounce) bags spinach and arugula mix or 1 5-ounce bag of each for a total of 10 ounces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces Cambozola cheese (rind removed), cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup coarse dry breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat olive oil over medium-high in a saute pan. Add the shallot and cook 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the kale sprouts, reduce heat to medium and saute 2-3 minutes or until wilted.
Add spinach and arugula and cook until it just wilts. Remove from heat. Stir in garlic and bacon. Transfer to a 1 ½-quart baking dish.
Melt butter in the saute pan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to brown it. Add the half-and-half and bring to boil, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in the Cambozola cheese and continue whisking until melted and smooth. (Will be fairly thick.)
Pour sauce over the greens and gently stir so that the greens are covered with the sauce.
Top with breadcrumbs/cracker crumbs.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbling and heated through.
MAKE AHEAD: May be assembled one day ahead. Increase cooking time 5 minutes if cold from the refrigerator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.