Comfort Food By Way of Kale and Sweet Brown Rice Gratin

Kale brown rice cassarole served with spinach tomato saladBrown rice, kale, sharp cheddar cheese…it has never occurred to me in all that vast kitchen space and years of raising kids, entertaining, dieting, skimping. Just plain never did.

My husband asked for seconds! I had seconds…we considered thirds..and then I would have eaten the whole top of the gratin, but I passed the control test. If you are really looking for the ultimate comfort food experience, it might be found in the topping. I mean, what about that baked cheese studded with buttery bread crumbs?  Why bother with the rice and kale…oh yeah, nutritional benefits.

A simple salad of spinach and tomatoes goes beautifully. I drizzled it with a gluten free French dressing and some blue cheese.

Kale and Sweet Brown Rice Gratin has all the elements of perfect comfort food. It’s chewy, crunchy, rich, deliciously filling, and easy to make. Can it compete with macaroni and cheese? Sure thing!  It has the requisite crunch, chew, creamy fattening (but not) elements.  Mine’s gluten free, by the way, by turning a gluten free baguette dried end piece into bread crumbs.Kale brown rice gratin biteSee? It’s all there! Chewy sweet brown rice, cheese, fresh kale (YUMMY), crunchy breadcrumbs.  I might eat this for breakfast.

If you can make risotto, you can make this. Sweet brown rice is also short grain brown rice. I can not imagine using any other rice, as the character of this grain is what makes this gratin so special. But, Hey, you do what you want. I’m only guaranteeing excellence with sweet brown rice.

The recipe comes from a gal from Seattle, named Heather. Here is her recipe for Brown Rice and Kale Gratin. I tweaked it only in that I added TONS of kale, and used some chicken stock to replace 2 cups of the milk. I also, in hind sight, would definitely add some salt to the recipe while cooking. Maybe my sharp cheddar cheese wasn’t as sharp and salty as her choice, and that would make a difference in need for salt. I’m going to check out her other recipes, now that we’ve tried this one. It is a keeper.

Here it is ready for the oven kale brown rice gratin ready to bakeAnd the finished product?kale brown rice gratin