Kale Sprout, Spinach and Arugula Gratin with Cambozola is the perfect side dish to pair with simply roasted meat or poultry this fall and winter!
I’m starting to feel it.
The pressure of the holiday season. I went to a client’s home yesterday and her Christmas decorations and tree are half up. What? Huh?
I delivered a meal today to a friend who is recovering from surgery. She had numerous boxes of Christmas decorations sitting around that no doubt were anxiously awaiting escape from their cardboard walls for a place of admiration in her beautiful home.
Um. Isn’t it only mid-November? Still feeling the pressure nonetheless and already starting to sweat the holiday season.
So when the pressure is on, I want an easy dish that delivers maximum culinary “wow!” It’s happening here with this gratin, my friends!
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.
Menu Planning Tip!
- If your entree is elaborate, then pair simple side dishes with it. If your entree is more 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!
I’ve mentioned before how excited I get when I see kale sprouts at the grocery store. They’re a cross between red Russian kale and Brussels sprouts (often sold as Kalettes®). Could a vegetable be any more perfect?
Now, don’t sweat it if you can’t find kale sprouts; a bunch of kale torn into pieces will do. If your local market does not carry kale sprouts, put in a request. (If they don’t want to accomodate your request, shop somewhere else!)
I was a little nervous about combining the assertive flavors of kale and blue cheese but heck yeah, they work beautifully together!
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!!! All you need on the side with the roasted meat or poultry in addition to this lovely gratin are potatoes or other root vegetable. Enjoy!
- 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
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces Cambozola cheese (rind removed), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 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 1/2-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.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbling and heated through.