Beecher’s Kale and Brown Rice Gratin Recipe

This recipe is a delightful twist on a classic gratin, featuring the earthy tones of kale and chewy brown rice, all bound together with a creamy cheese sauce. Beecher’s Flagship cheese is recommended for an authentic touch, but any sharp cheddar you enjoy will work well.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 2 bunches dinosaur kale (around 10 leaves per bunch)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 7 ounces Beecher’s Flagship cheese, shredded (approximately 1 ¾ cups)
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter an 8-inch baking dish.
  • Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. While the rice cooks, rinse the kale and remove the leaves from the stems. Chop the leaves into 1-inch strips.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the kale for 2 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the kale.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook for 4 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, letting the liquid reduce to about ¼ cup.
  • Add the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the whole egg and egg yolk. Gradually whisk the hot cheese mixture into the egg mixture to temper it.
  • Fold in the cooked brown rice, kale, and half of the shredded cheese. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  • Top the gratin with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the gratin is bubbly and golden brown on top. Let cool slightly before serving.

Tips

  • For a vegetarian option, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
  • If you don’t have Beecher’s Flagship cheese, any sharp cheddar cheese will work as a substitute.
  • To add a smoky flavor, consider using smoked paprika or smoked gouda cheese along with the cheddar.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave until warmed through.

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