I don’t think I’d ever made a casserole before. I wasn’t even sure I had a casserole dish. My venture in to this new territory was made even more exciting for me because I didn’t strictly follow a recipe. I found a Martha Stewart recipe that resembled something I imagined was both healthy and tasty and then modified it to include ingredients I already had.
I think of kale as a vegetable often forgotten around traditional meals like those we tend to prepare for holidays and felt it was time to bring kale to the holiday table. When people prepare kale they seem to want to maintain its leafy, rugged integrity and so dishes with kale tend to be light, with distinct ingredients. I love other heavy greens with creamy sauces, like spinach with yogurt, and so I wanted to try to create a kale with this in mind. I noticed online and in some food magazines a couple recipes for kale that included ricotta. I don’t often cook with ricotta, so I thought I would give this a try. This is what I came up with:
about half a box of pasta
1 large onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
large bunch of kale, chopped in to 1/2 inch strips
15 ounce container ricotta
3/4 cup grated parmesan
2 cups cubed half-baked sweet potatoes
salt and pepper
While cooking the pasta, I sauteed the garlic, onion and kale in butter. Mixed these ingredients with the sweet potatoes and ricotta and spread the mixture out in a casserole dish (turns out I do have one). I baked the whole thing for just over a half hour and then let it cool for about ten minutes. What’s nice about a casserole, I have discovered, is that it can be a whole meal. If you want to simplify this dish to make it blend more easily with the diverse flavors of a big holiday meal, I would recommend leaving out the sweet potatoes and adding more ricotta. The final result would still give you that creamy, but vibrant green yummy-ness.