Spicy Sausage, Kale & Goat Cheese Gratin

Monday (actually, Tuesday) night dinner was at our apartment this week so I took the opportunity to make this recipe my mom had sent me. It takes a little bit of elbow grease but it’s a luxurious product. Everyone went back for seconds, so I think they would agree with me. To go with the entre, I made roasted garlic potatoes, Caroline brought the wine, Caitrin and Lauren made Asian slaw and Mary Scott and Kat made key lime pie. IMG_0696
I’m a wee bit upset that there are no leftovers, but I’m stuck with a bunch of kale so that’ll be my next project.
The panko, parmesan and basil crust on top was definitely my favorite part.
Soon I won’t be able to make anything this heavy and luxurious for a while when the weather warms up but on (hopefully!) the last cold day of spring it was perfect.


2 T. olive oil

1 lb fresh spicy Italian sausage (casings removed)

1/3 cup dry, white wine

2 bunches Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or Tuscan) stemmed and cut into 1 inch

wide strips

½ cup (1 stick) butter

1/3 cup flour

2 cups milk

5-6 oz goat cheese

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

2 T minced fresh basil

3 T melted butter

Preheat oven to 350
In a large heavy bottom sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Break up and brown the sausage for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook a couple minutes until it reduces then lower heat to medium. Stir in kale one handful at a time. Cook the kale stirring it in with the sausage until it begins to wilt and turn bright green. Add all of it and remove from heat—do not overcook the kale.

In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a roux. Slowly add the milk whisking constantly to get rid of any lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer whisking frequently—reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Crumble the goat cheese into the sauce—whisk until smooth. Taste—and if it needs a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes—add a bit. Pour over the kale mixture and stir well. Spoon the mixture into a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine the melted butter/bread crumbs/parmesan/fresh minced basil. Spread this topping evenly over the kale mix. Bake the gratin until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling—about 30 minutes. Cool for about 4 minutes before eating.

(Recipe adapted from Noelle Carter—printed in the Oregonian)


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