Trent Pierce's Miso-Creamed Kale

November 19, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Creamed greens were always comfort food, but now they don't need the steak on the side. Pierce's recipe tests the limits of how much umami you can use to gird a single dish, and is just as good next to roast beef or turkey for the holidays as it is at a low-key wintry dinner party, or a quiet night alone with a couple glasses of sturdy red wine. Adapted slightly from Oregon Live (January, 2012).

Genius Recipes

Serves: 4 as a side


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, roughly chopped (you should have 4 to 6 cups packed kale)
  • 1/2 cup shimeji mushrooms with stems, or shiitake mushroom tops
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon white (shiro) miso, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Place 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. When melted, add the shallot and garlic. Cook over low heat without letting the garlic and shallots color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the kale and continue to cook for a few more minutes until wilted. If it won't all fit in the pan, just add what's left after it's cooked down a bit.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small pan set over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and cooked through, about 5 minutes. If the mushrooms become too dry, add more butter. Stir in the soy sauce, cook another minute and turn off the heat.
  3. Once the kale is wilted and soft, increase the heat to medium high, add the vermouth and cook until it’s just evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the cream and miso, stirring until completely incorporated. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 2 more minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and tightens up the around the kale. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if you like (but don’t forget the mushrooms have soy sauce). Place the kale on a warm platter and scatter the mushrooms over the top. Serve immediately.

More Great Recipes:
Kale|Milk/Cream|Shallot|Soy Sauce|Vegetable|Vermouth|Miso|Valentine's Day|Christmas|Fall|Thanksgiving|Winter

Reviews (24) Questions (1)

24 Reviews

Heather A. November 18, 2018
I turned this heavenly dish into a riff on fettuccine alfredo, and it was divine. I used 1.5× all the ingredients, then tossed the mushrooms and greens with 8 oz. pasta plus a coffee cup of the pasta cooking water.
Lydia July 29, 2018
I just made this the other night and it was delicious!! I only had 1/4 c cream, so I subbed lactose-free whole milk and didn't find the dish lacking at all. It was still quite rich and flavorful that I ate it with pasta 1:1 and enjoyed it all. I'll definitely make it again!
JLHQueens April 16, 2018
This was restaurant worthy! I served it as a main dish with steamed cod on top - everyone loved it.
CookingJoy June 3, 2017
This was fantastic. Only used a bit of cream. Will definitely make it again
Glenn November 12, 2016
Do you think this would be good with spinach instead of kale??
Liz B. August 1, 2016
I made only the kale portion of this, no mushrooms/soy sauce. SUCH great way to serve kale! Didn't have vermouth so I subbed a dry white wine, and used a bit less cream. Also happy to find uses for the tub of white miso in my fridge!
Wildcattat November 16, 2015
we made this recipe last night. its AMAZING! thank you so much for sharing! We put less cream and it was perfect!
Diane September 6, 2014
I messed with this a bit, but the bones of the recipe are still there and it was delicious. I only had a 1/2 bunch of kale, so I added 6 ounces of pasta (quickly drained to capture some of the starchy water). I also felt the recipe needed a little more sweet to balance the miso.... I added teeniest pinch of nutmeg. I was surprised how nicely it played off the miso. Yummy and filling vegetarian meal.
Kat June 12, 2014
It's a tad too rich. I think next time I'll cut down the amount of cream I use. Otherwise, it's very tasty.
Barb March 30, 2014
I recently found Organic Valley lactose free half and half. Green Valley organics makes lactose free yogurt and sour cream. These might be good substitutes, made from real milk without the lactose!
Sarah C. February 20, 2014
I am OBSESSED with this. So good! I used oyster mushrooms and sherry. I served it as a side with salmon and didn't even care about the salmon. I just ate 2 portions of this!
timothina December 23, 2013
Has anyone had leftovers and reheated it? How does it hold up?
Valerie T. September 15, 2014
I've reheated the leftovers, it was fine for me, still delicious.
vrunka November 28, 2013
I made this tonight with just two tablespoons (not a half cup) of cream, plus some soy milk, and found it quite creamy and satisfying and plenty rich. In fact, I couldn't imagine it with the full amount of cream called for in the recipe!
susan C. November 23, 2013
Alan, I like your suggestion to substitute stock for the cream.
Rita G. November 23, 2013
Made this for lunch yesterday and my husband asked for it again today. I used coconut milk for the cream and topped it with a sunny side up egg both times. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe. We really enjoy it.
LittleMissMuffin January 13, 2018
Also made it today with coconut milk and oyster mushrooms. Very good!
Burf November 22, 2013
Intense! I never thought I was a food wimp, but this was a little beyond my limits. One of the umamiest (it's now a word) bites around.
Valerie T. September 15, 2014
You could leave off the mushroom/soy sauce mixture, which I've done and it wasn't so umamiy (also, now a word).<br />
ChaosTheory November 20, 2013
I'm thinking of trying cashew milk in place of the cream. I can't do dairy while nursing my son because of his sensitivity, but this looks too good to skip entirely or even put on hold.
njhomechef November 20, 2013
I am with you sarahndipitous--I don't want the full-fat dairy myself. I'm going to try to sub coconut milk--google Creamed Kale with Coconut and you'll find a wide selection of recipes from Whole Foods, Wegman's market, and a host of Paleo diet sites.
Alan D. November 20, 2013
Sarah, it is amazing the creaminess that the white miso can bring to a dish. You might be able to substitute some stock here, or just try it without. I prepare an eggplant with tomato miso sauce that tastes like it is cooked with heavy cream, but isn't. Check out the recipe at<br />
the_lewist November 20, 2013
While I totally get that cream is what MAKES this dish, my stomach can't handle it! Any suggestions on substitutes for the cream?
Laurel March 20, 2014
I make this recipe without the cream. It isn't as rich, the miso and vermouth flavors still come through and the rich mushroom topping is all you need!