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I rarely buy a cookbook. Very few of them have more than 5 recipes that seem unique or appeal to my taste buds. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman is a cookbook I will buy. It has fantastic pictures, deliciously appealing recipes, and she writes in such a delightful style. She makes you wish you were her neighbor or your kids went to the same school so you would have a reason to pop into her kitchen and try her treats in person. But since I don’t know her, I will just have to be content with making her recipes. So far I have made 5; each has been delicious. And there are so many more I want to try.

Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Baby Swiss

Wild Rice:

  • 5 cups cooked wild rice (from 1 2/3 cups dry), cooked per package instructions

Caramelized Onions:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups stemmed, ribboned kale leaves

Assembly Items:

  • 2 cups coarsely grated Swiss cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter (1 to grease to pan, 1 for the crumbs)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice according the package directions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (no non-stick) over medium heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and sweet (about 30 minutes). Stir occasionally. Add the kale ribbons and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes). Stir together the onion-kale mixture, wild rice, and 1 cup of the grated cheese in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Grease a 2 quart baking dish with 1 tbsp of the butter. Spread the wild rice mixture in to the prepared pan. Pour broth over it. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the rice. Toss the breadcrumbs with 1 tbsp melted butter, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and beginning to brown on top. Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish. Refrigerates and reheats well!

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