I feel like I’ve written about all my failed Thanksgiving sweet potato attempts several times already (or maybe it just feels that way?) and I really don’t want to bore you with yet another story about those sweet potato failures, but I’m going to do it anyway. Because without those failures this Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin would not exist! (And after this, I will have written about each one of my sweet potato failures, so you won’t have to hear about them again. Promise.)
My very first idea for a sweet potato side was a gratin. I had this fabulous idea for a recipe involving fresh rosemary and cheese and I just knew it was going to be delicious. But I was a little too sure of myself and I thought, “I bet I can make this lighter! I’m going to use milk instead of heavy cream!”
You guys? If you’re making a gratin, don’t use milk. Oh sure, it works some of the time. But the other times, you have a curdled gratin. That curdled gratin might taste good, but it is quite literally a hot mess. A greasy hot mess. My husband reassured me that it tasted good, but it looked like something that would be served to prison inmates. When you’re cooking for the holidays, you don’t want to run the risk of a gross looking sweet potato gratin. And it’s the holidays! The time of the year when you can get away with using heavy whipping cream!
So this is my redemption gratin. I used Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream to make it. No curdled sweet potato gratin this time! I also decided to replace the rosemary with nutmeg for a more traditional sauce and then because I can never bear to do anything completely traditional, I used fewer sweet potatoes and replaced them with kale. (Yes, kale! I can’t get enough kale and sweet potatoes!) With a rich side dish like this one, the addition of greens helps lighten things up a little bit.
Organic Valley is a brand that I use often in my cooking, so when I had the chance to develop this recipe for them, I was pretty excited about it. I try to be mindful of what I put in my grocery cart, and when it comes to dairy, things like hormones and antibiotics are a concern for me, which is why I like Organic Valley. And when I buy produce, I buy organic when possible in order to avoid pesticides–well, did you know that dairy can also contain pesticides? Organic Valley products don’t; the pastures that their cows graze on are free of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
Those are the reasons I’ve bought Organic Valley in the past, but in working with them on this post, I learned a new reason to buy from them in the future: Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative, helping small family farmers thrive in an era of agribusiness. Organic Valley’s Pasture Perfect Holidays website highlights recipes from the families that run these farms–the families that, together as a whole, own Organic Valley.
In addition to holiday recipes, the Pasture Perfect Holidays site has a $1 off coupon for Organic Valley butter (it’s the holidays–you know you are going to use a lot of butter!) and a sweepstakes where you could win up to $12,000 for kitchen appliances, one of five $1000 gift certificates for cookware, or a weekly prize for a year of free Organic Valley products.
To make this more of an everyday side dish, you can use whole milk in place of the heavy whipping cream, but this increases the likelihood of the gratin curdling. If the gratin curdles, don't panic! It is still perfectly fine to eat, it just doesn't look very pretty.
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