• Karine Wlasichuk

Another Day, Another Potato Gratin

Mission: use up the kale, ugly freezer bread slices (who likes the ends of a loaf!? this gratin does- fun fact, I forgot all about those when it came to preparing the dish) and the about-to-become-mushy-potatoes. Although I had just posted a kale gratin recipe in the past couple of weeks, two things:

a) it's winter time, there is no such thing as a gratin limit per citizen

b) this one is utterly simplified (although my first version was delicious, it was quite time-consuming so I found her easy-going sister)

Funny enough, although the idea of potatoes being the star of a dish is extremely Ukrainian and the name of the dish French, I don't recall ever having gratin growing up (although I was such an annoyingly picky eater, it is definitely not impossible that my mother momentarily gave up on her go-to dishes thanks to my horribly lazy taste buds). So this winter, I am bringing it back for good. Gratin in all its glory. Part 1 or 3497.

You will need,

Yellow potatoes (around 6-8, depending on their sizes, thinly sliced)

Kale (1 bunch, thinly chopped)

Red onion (1, chopped)

Scallions (6, chopped)

Mozzarella (1 cup, shredded)

Salt and pepper (for taste)

Milk (2 cups- I used 1%)

Butter (3 tbsp)

Flour (3 tbsp)

A few simple steps,

1. In a skillet over medium heat, toss olive oil and red onion with salt and pepper for about 5 minutes.

2. Add in the kale (you can do it in 2-3 batches as it may look overwhelming but shrinks fairly fast, and you are welcome to pour additional olive oil on the new batches) and stir for another few minutes. The kale will be ready when the leaves have wilted. Something to mention which most people take for granted: you need to not only get rid of the core, but also the 'veins' on the kale leaves and strictly cook the leafy part. I typically go along the lines with a small knife and discard of anything hard. In the end, the kale you cook will have a consistency similar to spinach (although the leaf itself is thicker, it is much easier to cook on its own- so be diligent!).

3. Set the kale mix aside, off the heat.

4. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add the milk, and then bring to a boil.

5. Cook and keep stirring until it has thickened (2-3 minutes).

6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the mozzarella until melted. Add the potato slices and the kale mix.

7. Transfer to a greased baking dish and top with scallions (I rubbed a butter cube on the edges beforehand- this is not a dish for strict diets).

8.Cover with a sheet of aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

I love to serve these types of cheesy carbs-filled meals with a nice spinach salad, but considering the amount of kale we baked here, I was more than happy to serve it on its own. Well, not quite. It is never complete without a nice red, a staple.

Not going to lie, the pre-oven version seemed a lot more photogenic, but this taste. Ahh.