Kale — the king of superfoods — isn't just for salad. Here, Ben Ford has a preparation for it you've likely never seen before: In a creamy, cheesy, airy soufflé.
Kitchen Equipment Required: 3-quart casserole dish, 12-inch skillet
- 6 whole eggs, separated
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to prepare the soufflé dish
- 1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs, crumbled fine
- 4 cups Tuscan kale leaves, stems removed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced thin
- 1 sweet onion, fine dice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, fine chopped
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup shredded Comte cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Grease a 3-quart casserole dish with butter and dust with fine breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Heat a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add all of the torn kale to the skillet, and 1 cup chicken stock. Cover the skillet, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale is wilted. Once the kale is wilted and all of the water has been absorbed, remove the kale from the skillet and set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a roux. While whisking constantly, add the milk. Continue to whisk constantly, until the sauce starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in Comte and Parmesan cheeses. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the egg yolks, one at a time. Season sauce with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and the nutmeg.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the onions are beginning to turn translucent and the leeks are starting to soften. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in kale and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Season to taste with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Using a spatula, fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the spinach mixture.
Then, add the spinach mixture back into the remaining whites and gently fold, until well incorporated.
Spoon into prepared dish and bake in the center of the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes.