Prior to our big move to Texas, I never would have thought to try collard greens. I could blame ignorance, apathy, or my personal favorite, my unyielding force of habit to always reach for either spinach or arugula.
I really wish I had been enlightened to their deliciousness sooner in life. Not as bitter as rapini or swiss chard, and with a texture similar to escarole, these greens are good and good for you.
That was my sales pitch to the posse, in case you were wondering why I sounded like I was selling something.
Really though, anytime you take crisp greens, sauté them with onions and garlic, and smother them in a homemade white cheddar cheese bechamel sauce, you can’t lose.
Well, at the end of the day, I guess I did, because Sabrina ate the last of gratin yesterday when she came home from school ….. and now there’s none left.
Collard Green Gratin – adapted from epicurious
- 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tbs. butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb. bag chopped collard greens
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet; toast over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat and season with pepper.
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add greens and cook until wilted, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and very pale brown, about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk, and bring to a boil. Whisk in cheese, and pour the sauce over the collard greens mixture and mix to combine; season with pepper.
Pour the mixture into a large gratin dish and top with the toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until the gratin is bubbling – about 15-20 minutes.