Vegetarianized Recipe: Kale and Potato Gratin


I was scrolling along through my Instagram account earlier this week, and was taken aback by a gorgeous gratin my NYC friend, Sue S., was making with her CSA delivery of kale. What inspiration for the cooling days! Sharp kale is layered with soft potatoes, onions and creamy fontina for a comforting side on a fall evening. I also included a trick – sub’ing skim milk thickened with cornstarch for heavy cream . . . it’s still gluten-free and in this recipe, saves an incredibly shocking 1,400 calories and 175g fat.

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Servings: 8
Time: About 25 minutes active; 70 minutes total

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 ounces fontina, cubed
2 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ounce pecorino or parmesan, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add kale, thyme, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until kale is wilted and most of the water is cooked off. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a 9×13 casserole dish coated with cooking spray, lay out half the potatoes on the bottom, slightly overlapping. Spread half of the kale mixture evenly over potatoes. Then sprinkle nutmeg over top and half the fontina cubes. Repeat with remaining potatoes, kale mixture and fontina.

4. Heat milk until warmed through and whisk in cornstarch until incorporated and slightly thickened. Pour over gratin, cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
5. Remove and sprinkle pecorino on top. Bake 15 minutes more, uncovered, until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve hot.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog,, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty – just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.