When I went home to my dad and stepmom’s for a little pre-Christmas celebrating, they gave me two amazing books because they knew I finally had some time to enjoy reading and cooking after a crazy (but amazing) semester! The first book they gave me was after a little…ok maybe a lot of hinting. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is by one of my favourite bloggers, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. Deb’s blog is one of the first food blogs I fell in love with. Her food is fresh, beautiful, and more importantly, delicious. Here is the first of a few of her recipes that I’ll be featuring on my blog. Her wild rice gratin is the perfect hearty side dish for a cold night. The only thing I’d change is adding more kale, because we all know that I love kale.
As Deb herself mentions in the cookbook, it’s not the prettiest dish, but it’s absolutely delicious! One of the biggest things I have learned from her cookbook is to use a scale! While this might seem like common sense to most of you, I have never realized how much more precisely you can craft a recipe if you use a scale. I’ll be using mine much more often now!
Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Baby Swiss by Deb Perelman from her book The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Wild Rice – 5 cups cooked wild rice (from 300g uncooked)
Caramelized Onions –
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp table salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups stemmed, ribboned kale leaves (you can double this if you’d like)
2 cups grated emmentaler or other swiss cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter (1 to grease dish; 1 melted for crumbs)
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
freshly ground pepper
1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Caramelize onions:
– Heat butter and olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
– Add onions, sprinkle with salt and a little pepper, and cook until they’re tender and sweet, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add the kale ribbons, and cook until they wilt a bit, about 5 minutes. Stir together the onion-kale mixture, wild rice, and 1 cup grated cheese in a large bowl. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
3. Assemble the gratin:
– Use 1 tbsp butter to generously coat a 2-quart baking dish.
– Spread the wild-rice mixture into prepared gratin and pour broth over it.
– Sprinkle remaining cheese over gratin.
– Toss breadcrumbs with 1 tbsp melted butter and salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle over cheese.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a little bubbly and beginning to brown on top.