Late summer, I was glad one of my Paonia garden kale transplants had thrived in the new garden. Baked a little summer comfort food dish one of those kinda-chilly-for-August nights. And an even more excellent dish now in winter months. Matched with a pile of sliced taters, the earthiness of the kale melds with ((butter!!)) and fresh sage, stoneground mustard, and just a little bit of cheese.
Have I mentioned that Bunnies were a new addition to my gardening adventures here in northern Colorado last season?
As odd as it may seem, all the years I gardened in Paonia I had nary a rabbit to contend with. Here, however – (back in the REAL? world) – rabbits abound. Literally – jumping up into the raised beds with a nonchalant sense of ownership to all that appeals to their may I now say with experience –voracious taste buds–up there. And then, when satiated with spinach and lettuces, they go back to proliferating at the blink of an eye. I am grateful that at least kale was not one of the tasties…for all these silly wabbits! *It was pretty cute, truly though, to see the baby bunnies jumping about the yard!
My friend actually devised a clever fix of simply wedging in a few old fence slats soil level to fashion a kind of fence to the raised beds, above bunny-jump-level, thankfully. 🙂 The fall spinach and lettuces grew well!
Don’t you love Yukon Gold potatoes? They just seem to exude butter – but I add some anyway to the layers of the dish! German Butterball potatoes are soooo delicious, too. Have you had the pleasure? What are your favorites to grow and eat? Just look at them….A little spice is nice! with the earthy greens and buttery taters…
May I reveal to you, how much I love potatoes…. Next year, we will surely have a few hills planted. And leeks to go along with them… but back to the recipe at hand, add a nice layer of greens and herbs:
A satisfying little recipe it is, a dab of mustard here, a dab of butter there. Another dab of butter, and so on…
If I could get more close up for you, I would (but then I’d be eating directly out of the casserole dish, camera thrust aside…)
Scalloped Kale and Yukon Gold Potatoes
Another of my no measurement recipes – the way we often put dishes together, in the comfort of our homes, with our good instincts and taste to guide us, right?
- 3-4 scrubbed mid sized Yukon Gold or other favorite potato, sliced thinly
- a nice fat bunch of kale, or chard, rinsed, de-stemmed as necessary, chopped
- butter, or olive oil, but really – pick butter
- salt and pepper
- fresh sage (or other favorite herb – dill or rosemary would be nice here, too)
- stoneground mustard
- red chili pepper flakes
- Havarti or fontina or mozzarella or Gruyere: a bit of cheese, if it suits you
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (Wouldn’t I LOVE an outdoor oven! A solar cooker! Maybe soon…) Leave a little water on the kale after rinsing, add it to a large pot with a tablespoon or so of butter, cover, and steam/sauté over medium high heat on the stove, watching closely, turning occasionally with tongs. Set aside. Butter or oil a casserole dish. Layer sliced potatoes, seasonings ( – including a little more softened butter, along with dabs of mustard, chopped herbs, S & P, chili flakes) and kale several times, eyeing out your ingredients to top the casserole with a final layer of potatoes and the bit of cheese.
Cover the dish and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, remove lid and let brown to that perfect moment when the cheese rises up into golden puffiness, and the potatoes are tender. The kale adds such an earthy, wonderful element to this dish. Of course it would be awesome with sautéed onion, garlic or leeks, too – I just didn’t happen to have any at the time. And, since “Being at peace with what is” has been breathing right along, in and out with me, that was just fine…
Especially when, after dinner, I can take a walk down lakeside…