A take on the ever-popular Spinach Madeline, Kale Madeline is heartier than the dish that inspired it. Fresh kale is cooked and tossed with onion, seasonings and cheese before baking into a casserole. This dish makes for a fantastic Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.
I was introduced to a little dish called Spinach Madeline a few New Year’s Eves ago.
I was working at a sales-based company, and December 31st was the end of quarter, so I was working late while Winston and my mother planned out and made a decadent New Year’s Dinner for us.
One of the dishes Winston prepared was Spinach Madeline.
I’d never heard of it before, but I fell in love with it at first bite.
Fast forward two years, and I was on assignment for 225, a local magazine in Baton Rouge, and they told me during one meeting that they wanted me to go out and photograph Madeline Wright, the woman who is the originator of Spinach Madeline. So I did, and it was awesome.
When I was thinking about Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to add a little twist to Madeline’s original recipe, so I used kale instead of spinach. Not surprisingly, it is every bit as wonderful.
Here’s how you make it:
- 10 oz. fresh kale
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup remaining kale liquid
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- 3 oz. pepper jack cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large pot, bring water seasoned with salt to a boil.
- Add the kale to the salted water and boil for 10 minutes before draining and setting aside. Make sure to keep ⅓ cup of the liquid the kale boiled in for later in the recipe.
- In a skillet, melt the butter and add the flour, forming a blonde roux.
- Add the onion, cooking until translucent and coated in the roux.
- Pour in the evaporated milk, Worcestershire and the remaining kale liquid. Season with the celery salt, as well as freshly ground black pepper and salt.
- Simmer until the sauce has thickened substantially, then add in the kale and the cheese, stirring until combined.
- Pour into a greased baking dish, top with an additional sprinkling of cheese, and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is brown and bubbly.
- Serve warm and enjoy!