Baked Kale Gruyère

  • 1 quart salted water
  • 2 1/2 pounds kale, ribs removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded gruyère cheese (divided)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Bring the salted water to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, wash the kale several times in cool water; drain well. Add kale to boiling water, cover tightly and boil steadily for 20 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Drain, cool and chop finely.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9-by-7-inch baking dish. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the flour to make a paste (called a roux). Cook, stirring, until lightly colored, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, a little a time, waiting until the roux absorbs the milk before adding more. Add 1/4 cup of the shredded gruyère, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.Toss the bread crumbs with the butter and the remaining 1/4 cup cheese; set aside. Combine the sauce with the kale and transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.