Monday, July 18, 2011
Sweet Potato and Kale Gratin
I didn't have much faith in my ability to garden as I scattered seeds into barely thawed soil early this spring. My parents were avid, successful gardeners, and I have gardened most of my life (or tried). Every year however, I feel like my harvest is sheer luck. Some years the squash are prolific, some years they don't even flower. Some years the tomatoes ripen in mass, some years they succumb to blight. (The strawberries never, ever even set fruit. I think I'm gonna give up, but that's another story). This year my garlic bulbs are small, whereas last year they were quite beefy. It's not the size, though...right?
I've had great luck with kale this year. The seeds for the Russian blue kale that my mom sent gave rise to sturdy, beautiful leaves (perhaps because it's a gift from my mom?). I have watched them all spring with excitement--and actually some trepidation. Kale? Why did the kale have to do so well? Why not the melons (fail), or the strawberries (I'm having trouble letting go)? Who likes kale in this family but me?
Apparently, mixed with the right ingredients (read 'butter'), my entire family likes kale. Except the 3-year old--she only likes bagels with cream cheese and jelly. I headed to Smitten Kitchen's blog for ideas, and found a Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin. I substituted kale for the chard, and it turned out beautifully! The creamy sweetness of the heavy cream, butter and cheese perfectly complemented the hearty sweet potatoes and the tender kale. Yep, butter, cream and cheese. It's good. Here's the recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Happy harvest!