A coworker recently gave me a huge bag of kale her father had pulled from his garden and had planned to compost. I need a little help embracing greens sometimes, so I turned to our well-worn copy of The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking, a cookbook that’s sadly out of print. This is adapted from one of our favorite recipes in the book called Spinach Bread and Butter Casserole. The original calls for ciabatta — we used leftover sourdough — and lots of butter, hence the name. Now, I love butter as much as the next gal, unless that gal is Julia Child, but you’re supposed to butter each piece of bread in the dish, which adds up fast. Since I cut the butter so much, the extra cheese I added was a wash right?
Kale, Spinach and Bread Casserole
- 1/2 pound spinach, rinsed
- 1/2 pound kale, washed and trimmed
- 1 pound sourdough, French or ciabatta, sliced thin
- 1 tbsp butter
- roughly 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, sliced thin
- 4 ounces mushrooms
- salt/pepper to taste
- 4 ounces Gruyere, shredded
- 2 ounces blue or Stilton cheese, crumbled
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/4 cup milk (skim is fine)
- grated fresh nutmeg to taste
Blanch greens in boiling water for two minutes. Drain well, pressing out extra water. Use olive oil to grease a 9 by 13 pan. Spread bread slices along the bottom and sides of the dish. Fry the onion and mushrooms in butter for about five minutes, then add greens, salt, pepper and grated nutmeg to taste. Remove from heat. Cover the bottom layer of bread with spinach mix. You’ll have some left over. Cover with half the Gruyere and all of the blue cheese. Cover with remaining bread and cheese. In a small bowl mix eggs and milk. Pour over bread mixture and let sit for at least an hour to let the bread soak up the custard. Preheat oven to 375. Put the dish in a larger roasting pan and pour boiling water around it. Bake for 45 minutes or until risen and golden brown.