‘Happy Thanksgiving’ Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Baby Swiss

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends here and abroad. May today be filled with good eating, ample laughter, no knife fights, and at least one awkward comment by a seldom-seen relative whose duty in life is to convert you to his or her way of thinking. I’ll keep this post short and sweet so you can focus on your cooking. I’d intended to share this wild rice gratin recipe yesterday so fellow Americans would have time to gather ingredients if they decided to make it as a side today. Alas, time got away from me, so non-Thanksgiving celebrants, this recipe is for you.

Below you’ll find another excellent Smitten Kitchen Cookbook recipe, this one for wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions, and baby swiss cheese. You don’t need a big feast to attend to rustle up this recipe, though it makes enough as a side to feed eight people. I do recommend making this recipe when you have more than two mouths to feed since it tastes best when it’s fresh from the oven. Caramelizing the onions does take about 30 minutes, so keep that in mind when you set to work. I cooked the rice and caramelized the onions the day before I intended to assemble the gratin to reduce time in the kitchen the day I planned to serve the dish.

Wild Rice Gratin
Image by author.

Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions & Baby Swiss
(a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook recipe)
Serves 8 as a side

For the rice:
– 5 cups cooked wild rice (from 1 2/3 cups, 10.5 ounces or 300 grams)

For the caramelized onions:
– 1 TBS butter
– 1 TBS olive oil
– 2 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
– 1/2 tsp table salt
– Freshly ground black pepper
– 4 cups stemmed, ribboned kale leaves (from an 8-ounce or 225-gram bundle)

For the assembly:
– 2 cups coarsely grated Emmentaler or another Swiss cheese
– 2 TBS unsalted butter (1 to grease dish, 1 melted for crumbs)
– 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
– 1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
– Table salt
– Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the rice according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and a little pepper, and cook until they’re tender and sweet, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add the kale ribbons, and cook until they wilt a bit, about 5 minutes. Stir together the onion-kale mixture, wild rice, and 1 cup grated cheese in a large bowl. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Now, assemble the gratin. Use 1 TBS butter to generously coat a 2-quart baking dish. Spread the wild-rice mixture into prepared gratin and pour broth over it. Sprinkle remaining cheese over gratin. Toss breadcrumbs with 1 TBS melted butter and salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle over cheese.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a little bubbly and beginning to brown on top.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dina says:

    Wow, this looks seriously good!
    A very Happy Thanksgiving to you all, have a wonderful time!
    Dina & Co Xx

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