Dropping in briefly today to share a quick hot dish that makes a lovely dinner or side during this holiday week. It’s one of those throw-together meals that’s versatile (try mushrooms, swiss chard, parsnips, what have you), reheats like a dream, easily doubles or triples the recipe, and comes to the rescue when you need to feed your more-than-usual crowd pre-Thanksgiving. It’s a hot-dish hero I tell ya!
Heaps of kale, fennel, and cauliflower under a toasted almond crust have plenty of satisfying flavors — no ‘cheese’ or ‘cream’ required. And for those you who say absolutely NO to anything fennel, if it’s any reassurance: the sauté mellows the strong licorice flavor so much so that it merely comes across as a slightly sweet onion flavor rather than licorice.
I love how dependable this simple veggie-packed dish is and that it already has a creaminess to it from the onions and cauliflower, despite any added — comfort food in its’ own right without being heavy.
I went without Daiya shreds this time, but feel free to add your favorite ‘cheese’ into the mix.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday everyone!
- 2 large bunches dino kale
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 whole cauliflower, leaves removed or 4 cups cauliflower rice
- 1¼ cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- cooking spray for greasing casserole dish and topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Remove stems from kale, set aside leaves and discard stems. Set a pot with water on high heat, when boiling add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and all the kale (no need to chop). Cook for 5 minutes, drain and squeeze out as much water as possible then chop fine, set aside. Set a large sauté pan with 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat, when hot, add diced onions and fennel, stirring occasionally, to cook until soft. Add in chopped kale, cauliflower rice, chicken stock, garlic powder, and tapioca starch, toss again to combine well. Cook another minute then remove from heat. Lightly spray a 9-inch casserole dish then transfer the kale cauliflower mixture to the casserole dish and level out.
- Grind the slivered almonds and Italian seasoning in a food processor to a fine breadcrumb consistency then sprinkle fine almond crumb over the casserole and lightly spray with oil (to prevent the nut from burning). Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a golden brown color. Let it cool 5 minutes before serving. Can be made ahead up to 3 days in advance. If so, to ensure a nice crunch topping: hold off on the nut crumb and sprinkle over the dish just before baking. If making a day ahead, the nut crumb will hold up fine.
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Emily Chung says
Emily Gardner says