smitten's wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions, and baby swiss

It's probably pretty much impossible that you could stumble over my blog without already being quite aware of the beautiful and warm Deb Perlman over at Smitten Kitchen. I was so nervous when I met her last fall when she taught a cooking class in conjunction with the book tour for her cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I believe I've given three copies of this cookbook as gifts so far, more than any other. The Smitten blog was the only food blog I followed for years. She is still within the handful of my top favourites. She is funny, smart, and her recipes are creative and reliable. I've actually made several recipes from this cookbook, and this one is a repeat.

wild rice//wanderaven
dino kale from the garden//wanderaven

Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Baby Swiss

recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perlman

serves 10-12 as side

wild rice:

5 cups cooked wild rice (from 1 2/3 cups, 10.5 ounces, or 300 grams uncooked)

caramelized onions:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon table salt

freshly ground black pepper

4 cups stemmed, ribboned kale leaves (from and 8-ounces or 225 gram bundle)


2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) coarsely grated Emmentaler or another Swiss cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1tablespoon to grease dish, 1 tablespoon, melted, for crumbs)

3/4 cup (180 ml) chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup (60 grams) fine, dry bread crumbs

table salt

freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, caramelize the onions: 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, of needed.
  3. Assemble the gratin: Use 1 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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.
smitten's wild rice gratin//wanderaven
smitten's wild rice gratin//wanderaven
smitten's wild rice gratin//wanderaven

As always, Deb's combination of flavours here is divine. The caramelized onions are tasty and sweet, contrasting the texture of the wild rice and the strong Emmentaler. And it's quite healthy, with the wild rice and kale. Note that the yield for this recipe is "10 to 12 as side"; we (2 of us) had this as an entree and had leftovers all week. Excellent leftovers; stayed quite moist and only set up more in the following days.

It's is only because of all those damn other shiny, shiny bloggers and cookbooks that I don't cook from this one every single night!