Spring Greens Gratin
This recipe is the perfect solution to the heavy load of fresh greens we have early and late in the season. My favorite greens to use are our tender collards, but I throw in whatever I have languishing in the fridge. Thanks to the rice and the eggs, this gratin is a full meal. And it pairs perfectly with a glass of rosé!
2 generous bunches of greens, such as collards, kale, or Swiss chard, all destemmed** (You will need about 8-10 cups of fresh greens, so throw in those two pac choi, or add the tatsoi or beet greens from last week!)
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3-4 large spring onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (If you have any green garlic or garlic scapes, now is the time to use it!)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or ¼ tsp dried)
1 TBSP dried rosemary
1 pound cabbage (1/2 medium), cored and chopped (Napa cabbage will work!)
¼ cup dry white wine or dry sherry (Or cider, or beer, or even just water)
1 cup cooked rice
2 tsp crushed red pepper (you can also use a few dashes of hot sauce)
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups grated cheese, such as Cheddar, Gruyere, Parmesan (Feta would also be a great addition)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem the greens. When the water comes to a boil salt generously and add your heaviest greens, such as collards and kale. Blanch for 1 minute, until just wilted, then add your more delicate greens, such as beet greens, chard, tatsoi. Let cook for only enough time to wilt. Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain and squeeze out excess water by the handful. Chop medium-fine and set aside. You should have about 3 cups of cooked greens..
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or oil a 2-quart baking dish.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter or oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add onion, spring onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes, then add cabbage, thyme, rosemary and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until cabbage collapses in pan, about 5 minutes, and add another generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook the mixture until the cabbage is tender, sweet, and beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Pour in wine or sherry and scrape up any brown bits. Once the liquid has evaporated, stir in chopped blanched greens and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir together for about a minute and remove from the heat.
Beat eggs in a large bowl and add a pinch of nutmeg, crushed pepper or hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in rice, vegetable mixture and cheeses. Scrape into prepared baking dish. If using breadcrumbs, toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle over the top. If not using breadcrumbs drizzle remaining oil or butter over the top.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
**You can blanch your greens ahead of time, they would be fine to keep in the fridge for up to 5 days before making the gratin. You can also use frozen greens, perhaps from a previous week, just make sure that they are thawed thoroughly and squeezed very dry.
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Each week our CSA gets recipes along with their Shares. Here we've collected all the recipes from previous years.