This preparation is classic for a reason. Obviously, spinach is the usual green recruited for this dish but I love using tender kale in its place.
February 24, 2021
You can make in advance and simply warm with the breadcrumbs and top with lemon juice just before served. This should have a cooked and baked feeling so the oven time is important to achieve this classic “steakhouse side dish” effect.
1poundfresh Lacinato, Tuscan or Red Russian kalewashed and coarsely chopped
1package(10 ounces) frozen spinachfully defrosted and drained
2cups(1 pint) heavy cream
1cupfinely grated Parmesan cheese
½cupgrated Gruyere cheese
Zest and juice from 1 small lemon
¼tspred pepper flakes
Cook the kale:
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat; add half of the olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add half of the kale to the pan. Season with salt and stir until the leaves take on a deep green hue and lose about 50 – 75 % of their volume, 2-3 minutes. Remove the kale from the pan and place in a colander to drain. Repeat this step until all of the kale has been cooked. Quickly sauté the defrosted spinach in the same pan to remove excess water, 102 minutes. Mix the kale with the spinach.
Drain and chop:
Use a kitchen towel or thick cloth napkin to press down on the kale/spinach in the colander to remove any excess oil and moisture from the leaves. Remove the spinach from the colander and chop into pieces no bigger than 1 inch across.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In the same sauté pan, with straight sides, add the cream and place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Simmer the cream until it reduces to about 1 cup, 5-8 minutes. Add both cheeses, nutmeg, lemon zest, the Worcestershire sauce, pepper flakes and salt to taste. Whisk the ingredients together in the pan and cook until the cream thickens. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the kale/spinach. Top with the breadcrumbs and bake in the oven, 12-15 minutes, until warmed. Squeeze the juice from the lemon on top.