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Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin
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!”

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin Ingredients
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!

Cheese & Cream for Gratin
Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin
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.

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin
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.

Organic Valley Products
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.

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Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin Recipe

A rich, creamy gratin made with sweet potatoes and kale. Perfect for the holidays!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch (about 1 lb.) kale, tough stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (mine were between 1/8 and 1/4-inch – you can use a mandoline slicer)
  • 1 c. shredded Organic Valley Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pint Organic Valley heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. Organic Valley salted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more to grease baking dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Steam kale for about 3 minutes, or until wilted, in a large steamer basket set over boiling water. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Squeeze out excess water.
  3. Place half of the potatoes in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. (You don’t have to do this neatly, but try to make sure each layer is even!) Top potatoes with kale, then top kale with half of the Parmesan cheese. Place remaining potatoes in dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Whisk together whipping cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pour over potatoes. Dot with butter.
  4. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20-25 minutes more, or until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown. Allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

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.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Brandfluential for Organic Valley. All opinions are my own.

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175 Comments

  • Reply
    BusyWorkingMama
    December 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Heavy whipping cream makes anything better!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

      I know, right? I am never going to attempt gratin with milk again!

  • Reply
    Cari
    December 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I made this for our Christmas dinner today and I just wanted to let you know that this is a new holiday must have! ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for sharing it.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 27, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Thanks for your comment–I’m so glad your family enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Leah W
    December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I’m so excited about winning!!! Thanks, again, for the giveaway!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      You’re welcome–I hope you enjoy your prize! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Best side dish I’ve ever made!!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Wow! Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Anita
    February 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Looks great. But that much cream??? Yikes! I had to do have milk and half cream. There has to be a way to make this good and cut some calories. Kale and sweet potato are such healthy super foods and then you ruin the healthy dish with heavy cream. I steamed my kale with some sliced garlic and red pepper. We’ll see how it tuns out.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Milk has a tendency to curdle in gratins, which is why I used heavy cream. This was developed as a holiday recipe and it serves 10-12, so the amount of cream in each serving is small.

    • Reply
      Pamela
      November 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Actually Anita, adding organic cream does not ruin the health benefits. That’s out-dated and inaccurate information. Many, many studies confirm that fats in the diet are not a problem. It’s the unhealthy carbs and the trans-fats and highly processed fats that you need to be concerned about. Good, organic cream has calories, true, but it also has healthful benefits, so if one does not overeat, it is not a problem.

      Sorry for my soapbox, but I am very tired of the fat-phobia that has been erroneously laid on our health consciousness in the past decades. If one is eating healthfully and controlling their carb intake, fat calories are not the problem.

      • Reply
        Ramona
        November 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

        Just came across this great recipe. Trying it tomorrow. Reason I’m replying here is because I agree. Fat itself is very healthy. Especially if limited amount, of course. I grew up where there were no lite stuff to be had. I’m not fat. The brain needs fat.

  • Reply
    Jasmine
    February 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I’ll be honest, I saw your recipe on Pinterest and your blue spade shaped casserole dish caught my attention. Where did you get that? That is so cute!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      It’s actually a measuring cup. ๐Ÿ™‚ They were on clearance at Anthropologie a few months ago!

    • Reply
      mrhodes
      February 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      I totally was going to ask this question…that measuring cup is so freaking cute!

  • Reply
    Erika
    March 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    This recipe was delicious! My meat eating mother said she might convert, it’s that good. Tastes very gourmet-like, thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      March 4, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Thank you for your comment–I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Patricia
    March 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Do you think this would work with spinach or swiss chard? It looks delish.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      March 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Yes, I think it will! If you try it, let me know how it turns out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I want to make this for a freezer meal exchange. Does anyone know if it freezes well?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      April 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      I haven’t frozen it myself, so I can’t say. Sorry!

  • Reply
    Robert Grond
    April 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Great recipe. One suggestion would be to reduce the amount of cream.

  • Reply
    David Johnson
    May 20, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I love sweet potatoes and I love kale but have never put them together. I plan to try this but I don’t think I can do the full cream part, half and half maybe. In my experience using milk does not usually make that attractive a dish. Butternut squash would make a good replacement for the sweet potatoes but it wouldn’t make as attractive a dish. Have you tried half and half? I try to eat healthy and I am not one who thinks you have to be fat free, far from it but I believe in moderation in all things. I don’t put a lot of fat or sugar in a dish if it will work well without it.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      May 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      I developed this recipe as a holiday side dish and it serves 12, so while I don’t typically cook with heavy cream, I didn’t hesitate to use it here for a special occasion. Milk and half-and-half would definitely taste fine, but they’re more likely to curdle when baking. So if you’re just making this for an everyday type of dinner, either of those would do. If the dish curdles, it looks a little bit gross, but it’s perfectly fine to eat.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    May 28, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Just made this tonight for my family. It was Soooooo delicious!!! The flavors came together perfectly….will be making this often ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      May 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      I’m so glad it was a success! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Reply
        Kathy
        June 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

        So what does it taste like? Sweet? Savory? Vegetablely? Dessertish? What?

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          June 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

          It’s not a dessert, it’s a side dish. It’s a little bit sweet because of the sweet potatoes, but it’s a savory dish.

  • Reply
    Carissa
    June 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    We are dairy free, does anyone know if using almond or coconut milk would work? I can substitute the cheese with Daiya or another type. Just curious of dairy free versions anyone has tried! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      I haven’t tried it, but I would use coconut milk. I think almond milk would be too thin.

    • Reply
      beachmama
      December 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Would love to know if Carissa or anyone else had success using non-dairy options with this recipe. It sounds heavenly but it must be dairy-free for me ; ) Thank you!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    June 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I made this last night. I used half and half and cinnamon. This was a hit! I’ve never been a kale eater and have been trying to sneak it into my diet. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 11, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Thanks for the comment–I’m glad it was a hit! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Betty
    August 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Can this be made the day before and reheated?

    Does this freeze well?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      I haven’t frozen it myself, but I’ve heard from people who have tried it and it turned out well. It can be made a day in advance and refrigerated too.

  • Reply
    Conny
    October 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    This is the best veggie dish I ever ever ever ever had! SUPER YUMMY! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you–I’m so glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Barb. Taylor
    November 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I am going to try this dish making a white sauce ang pour over the ingredients
    I will let you know how it turns out

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      I hope it turns out well for you!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    November 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I just had this dish at my friends house and it was amazing. I am going to make it this week! Have you tried it with cinnamon?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t made it with cinnamon; I’m not sure how that would work with the kale, so I think I’d use it very sparingly. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Becky @ A Calculated Whisk
    November 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    This looks amazing! I am thinking of making it for Thanksgiving. Do you think it would be fine if I baked it the day before, then just reheated it in the oven for a while?

  • Reply
    Reen
    November 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    This looks amazing! Will have to definitely try it. Love your casserole dish with the handles…been looking for one just like this…could you tell me where you got it from?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      I bought it at HomeGoods last year. Since HomeGoods carries overstock, I’m not sure if you’ll be able to find it there now! :/

  • Reply
    Ruth Quiring
    November 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Skim Evaporated Mild is a great substitute for cream or even just regular Evaporated Mild would really cut the calories. You can whip it too.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Reply
    Emily
    November 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Wow, these are phenomenal! I just made this dish and can’t stop snacking on it even though we haven’t sat down for dinner yet. I will be including this amazing gratin in my weekly meal plan on my blog tomorrow. Thanks Kiersten, all your recipes are always so good!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you–I’m so glad you liked it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Heather
    November 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    My son doesn’t like parmesan cheese. What other kind would you suggest as a substitute?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Gouda, Swiss or gruyere would work well too!

  • Reply
    Becky @ A Calculated Whisk
    November 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

    This was one of my favorite dishes yesterday! It was my first time trying kale, and it was great! I found two colors of sweet potatoes (orange and white) and made an alternating pattern. So pretty and so delicious!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Yay for liking kale! It’s one of my favorite greens. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad the gratin was a hit!

  • Reply
    Betty
    December 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I need to bring this to a potluck. Should I finish baking it just before serving or do the whole thing at home and keep it warm in one of those portable warmer carrier bags. There will be about a three hour gap.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Sorry for the delay–I was out of town and had limited internet access. I think I’d assemble first, then bake before serving.

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