Let me preface this by saying that I instinctually balk at holiday displays set up in September—slow down, folks, I don't need a new tree-topper just yet. But I nonetheless feel I have to recommend that you go ahead and give a little forethought to your festive winter spread in light of this recipe from chef Renee Erickson's new cookbook, A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus. This is not for everyday—truly, I ate it for a regular old Monday night dinner, and have felt the need to do penance all week (except for having the leftovers for lunch for two days, because I'm not good at penance). If you're thinking "What? But it's kale!," please know that we are talking about kale that is doused in three cups of heavy cream and half a pound of cheese. An embarrassment of riches, certainly. Warm nutmeg brings it to life, and, in the oven, the top layer of kale gets crispy, and the rest goes silky under the weight of all that cream, which thickens into an unctuous sauce. It is beyond easy and beyond decadent—what more do you need out of a holiday dish? Oh, and it still counts as eating your vegetables.
Why I picked this recipe: I love kale, and I guess I can live with cheese and heavy cream, too (wink, wink).
What worked: This was delicious, without a doubt. I wanted to pick off the crispy, cheesy top and hoard it.
What didn't: It was crazy rich, but you know that going in. Still, I think it may be possible to reduce the cream a bit—it was rather soupy, especially when hot.
Suggested tweaks: I may try using two and a half cups of cream next time, but I'll almost certainly be making it for a special occasion, so I may well just go all in.
Thanks to the folks at Sasquatch Books, we have 5 copies of A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus to giveaway this week.