Saturday, February 18, 2012

Veggie Sausage and Kale Gratin

I made this on one of those "what is there in this house that could conceivably be made into dinner?" kind of nights. On this occasion the answer was: a bunch of kale, a package of Trader Joe's veggie sausages, and the usual bits, pieces, and cupboard staples. A desultory search came up with a Food Network recipe that sounded pretty gross (calling for a pound of pork sausage, nearly two sticks of butter, heavy cream, and half a pound of cheese, in addition to the olive oil to sauté the onions, etc.), but had potential. I cut the fat way down, upped the seasonings and vegetables, and generally reduced the likelihood of a major cardiac event. Eked out with some leftover risotto, it made a very good dinner, but it would also be a great brunch dish served alongside hot biscuits or savory waffles. (NB I happened to have Italian flavor sausages in the refrigerator, and proceeded accordingly as to spices; you could obviously use whatever flavor you like and adjust appropriately.)

Veggie Sausage and Kale Gratin
The Filling
~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
~ 2 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 12 oz. package vegan Italian sausages, diced (I used Trader Joe's)
~ 1 tsp. each: basil, oregano
~ 1/2 tsp. each: salt, chili powder, red pepper flakes
~ A few grinds black pepper
~ 1/2 cup dry white wine
~ 1 big bunch of kale, washed, trimmed, and chopped

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, and coat a small casserole or deep dish pie plate with cooking spray.
~ In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat about 3 minutes, then add the garlic, diced sausage, and dried seasonings.
~ Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sausage begins to brown a bit.
~ Add the wine to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom.
~ Add the kale, stirring constantly, and continue cooking until bright green and just wilted. Remove from heat and set aside while you make...

The Gratin
~ 1 tbsp. vegan margarine
~ 1/4 cup flour
~ 2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk, warmed
~ 1 cup grated vegan cheese (I used Cheezly cheddar)
~ 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
~ Dash nutmeg
~ 3/4 cup panko crumbs
~ 1/2 tsp. each: paprika, dried parsley
~ Cooking spray

~ In a saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat, and add the flour to make a roux (you may need to add some of the warmed soy milk to keep things from getting too gloppy).
~ Gradually stir in the soy milk, mixing constantly, then add the grated cheese, nutritional yeast, and nutmeg.
~ Continue cooking another few minutes, until slightly thickened, and then add to the sausage and kale mixture. Combine thoroughly, then transfer to your prepared baking dish.
~ Combine the panko, the paprika, and the parsley. Sprinkle the mixture over the whole business, spray briefly with cooking spray, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
~ Allow to cool briefly before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Gratins are awesome. Anything with kale is super awesome. Thanks for the delicious recipe.