WON Landing Page March 2022

Kale Madeleine Recipe

This recipe is a version of a classic from my childhood, Spinach Madeleine. Our mother could always coax us into eating spinach when she served this dish with dinner. The cheese sauce and toasted bread crumb topping do a great job of convincing all people, even the most seasoned spinach hater, that spinach can taste good. Keeping this in mind, and having experienced an over-the-top substitute from my local Walmart grocery pickup order that left me with three gigantic bags of kale (and lots of leftover), I decided to whip up my own take of this delicious side dish: Kale Madeleine.

Plated Kale Madeleine
Plated Kale Madeleine

Why Kale?

Well, beside the fact that I had a boat-load of leftover greens, this vegetable is a superfood. It comes from the cabbage family, and eating kale provides a whole heap of health benefits. According to WebMD, these benefits include:

  • Vitamin A (important for eye and bone health and a strong immune system), vitamin C (aids in cold and chronic disease prevention), and vitamin K (good for blood clotting and bone building)
  • Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development
  • Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep, dark green color and protect against macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc

Nutrients in kale can also help you:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Prevent cancer
  • Lose weight by filling you up with a high water content but few calories

Kale is also a resilient and cold-hardy plant, making it easy to grow at home. It can be grown in pots, too, which is perfect for folks without the room for (or the inclination to have) a garden. This veggie can also grow back multiple times after cutting, yielding more produce over time.

Making Kale Madeleine

Gather the following ingredients:

  • 16 – 20 oz. fresh kale greens
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 2 TBSP minced onion
  • 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. evaporated milk – I substitute regular milk in a pinch!
  • 1/2 TSP white pepper
  • 1/8 TSP cayenne pepper – omit if not a big fan of spice
  • 1/2 c. buttered toasted bread crumbs – can also use canned Panko or plain bread crumbs
  • 3/4 TSP celery salt
  • 3/4 TSP garlic salt
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (8 oz.) roll pepper jack cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
cooking the kale
32 oz. of kale greens x 3 = a heckuva lotta kale!

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, rinse your kale greens well (if not prewashed from the store). Cook the kale according to package directions, or add a little water to the dish and microwave for about two minutes. Drain the cooked kale well, reserving 1/2 c. of liquid. To do this, I put a strainer over a bowl and dump the kale and liquid through the strainer. Smash the greens into the strainer, using a spoon. This easily separates the greens from their liquid. Normally the juice is right at about half a cup; if it’s a little scant, add water until you have enough liquid for the recipe.

cooked kale
Cooked kale – I love its bright green color!

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the chopped onion. Next, stir and cook the onions until soft, which should take just a few minutes. Add the flour and whisk until blended.

Kale Madeleine on the stove

Pour in the milk and reserved kale liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Next, add all seasonings to the sauce.

sauce thickens
The sauce thickens!

Chop your cheese into smaller pieces, and add them to the sauce. Cook and stir to melt in the cheese.

chopping the pepper jack cheese
cheese sauce

Pour the beaten egg into the cooked kale, and stir until combined. Next, add the kale mixture to the cheese sauce (or the sauce to the kale, whichever works best for you) and mix well.

Kale Madeleine adding the eggs
Kale Madeleine adding the kale

Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish (like an oval gratin or a standard 8 x 8 glass dish). Add the kale and cheese mixture, and smooth out the top with your spoon. Make your own bread crumbs by buttering toast and chopping it fine. Or, use Panko or plain bread crumbs out of the can (which is what I usually do). Top with bread crumbs and bake.

How long you bake the dish depends upon personal preference. Usually I just whack this Madeleine into the oven and let it warm to bubbling, while I set the table and finish dinner prep. So, plan on baking for 10 – ?? minutes, until mixture is bubbling away and the bread crumb topping reaches desired level of doneness.

Kale Madeleine before bread crumbs
Kale Madeleine before bread crumb topping
Baking the Kale Madeleine

Remove from the oven, serve so that it’s piled high on your plate and enjoy! I figure the superfood goodness of the kale cancels out the “unhealthiness” of the cheese sauce … right?!

Still Hungry?

Check out all of the recipes here at The WON. Happy cookin’!

Yield: 8 servings

Kale Madeleine

Kale Madeleine feature

This superfood replaces spinach for a twist on a classic dish - Kale Madeleine.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 - 20 oz. fresh kale greens
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 2 TBSP minced onion
  • 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. evaporated milk - I substitute regular milk in a pinch!
  • 1/2 TSP white pepper
  • 1/8 TSP cayenne pepper - omit if not a big fan of spice
  • 1/2 c. buttered toasted bread crumbs - can also use canned Panko or plain bread crumbs
  • 3/4 TSP celery salt
  • 3/4 TSP garlic salt
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (8 oz.) roll pepper jack cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Cook the kale according to package directions, then drain well, reserving 1/2 cup liquid.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add onion, cook until soft.
  3. Add flour, stir until blended.
  4. Stir in milk and reserved liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in seasonings.
  5. Cut the cheese into small pieces, add to sauce, stir to melt.
  6. Mix in egg to kale until combined.
  7. Add the sauce and mix well.
  8. Top with toasted bread crumbs.
  9. Place in preheated 350°F oven for 10 - ??, until mixture is bubbling and bread crumbs have reached your desired level of doneness.
  • About Jackie Richardson

    Jackie Baird Richardson is an interior designer, editor at The WON and avid junker. Watch for her design tips and occasional crafting ideas, bringing the outdoors indoors.

     

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