Trent Pierce's Miso-Creamed Kale

November 19, 2013
21 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 as a side
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ashley McCarron
    Ashley McCarron
  • Mamasays
  • epicharis
  • Joan Fisler
    Joan Fisler
  • ctgal
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

37 Reviews

Ashley M. February 15, 2023
Well deserving of 5 stars and more! Made it as-written for a side dish with steak. Two of us polished this off with no problem — I'd think it would only be for 4 if there was another hearty side dish to accompany it. Excited to put this in the rotation!
Merry January 10, 2023
If I didn't review this earlier, that was an oversight. We just enjoyed it again over polenta and such a wonderful combination of flavors!!
Mamasays November 25, 2022
This was so good! Ditto what other are reporting! I’m thinking about using it as a filling for an appetizer. Maybe puff pastry or filo?
Marlena N. January 23, 2021
One of my favorite recipes to cook up as a side dish. Delicious umami flavor. The recipe calls for vermouth and heavy cream but I used White Wine and coconut milk. Still just as delicious with these ingredients.

This recipe is so easy and quick to make. It also could definitely be served at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant. Thank you for sharing this recipe, really fantastic.
epicharis November 23, 2020
I've wanted to try this for years but it never seemed to be the right occasion. Finally made this last night for a very special dinner and I'm kicking myself for not doing it earlier. What a phenomenal and flavorful dish, and it comes together so easily! Go heavy on the miso. It certainly stood up to a 2003 Bordeaux.
Bigfoot I. March 24, 2020
Delicious! A friend of mine gave me a mix of greens she had grown (kale, chard, broccoli leaves) and so I chopped them all and decided to use it! I mainly used this recipe as a guideline, making adjustments to make it plant-based. I used coconut milk instead of cream and vegan butter instead of traditional butter. I added a few spices to counter the sweetness of the coconut milk, and used white wine instead of vermouth because its all I had on hand. Served over rice and ate it as a main. Overall it came out amazing!
sharskee February 28, 2020
I made adjustments based on what I did and didn't have and it still turned out WONDERFUL! I recommend doubling the sauce portion so you will have leftovers to dump on rice (which we served it over). My husband thought it was so creamy and had so much umami that he asked if there was cheese in it.
Joan F. February 21, 2020
Excellent Dish! We served it with boiled riced cauliflower and baked sweet potatoes. Guests thought it was spinach until I corrected them. Thanks!
ctgal January 30, 2020
This was divine! The only mistake I made was not cooking my regular kale long enough. But it was just for me, so no complaints. If only I had read the comments first, I would have put it over pasta too. Next time. Thank you for such a delicious recipe. And easy too, especially when you have all of the ingredients. Thank you, Cheryl, for the Thanksgiving suggestion. I am always looking for new and creative side dishes. And making it in advance is wonderful!
Cheryl November 30, 2019
Delicious! Doubled recipe for Thanksgiving and made it vegan by using vegan butter and cashew "creme fraiche" for the heavy cream. I may try next time with kale or spinach because when some heard it was kale, they wouldn't try it. Regardless, all was eaten. Next year: quadruple, as it really cooks down. I think if I quadrupled, the sauce would be fine if I just tripled that amount. Bonus: made it the day before and just warmed in the microwave. Thank you!
suziqcu December 14, 2020
This is genius, why stop at being vegetarian, when you can make it vegan? Going to try with the cashew "creme Fraiche" Thanks for the tips!
Christina July 22, 2019
This is ridiculously delicious and I only used half the cream. I was going to save half for tomorrow night but I am eating that half now too. That’s okay. My garden produces so much kale I never use it all. That is about to change. Thank you Trent Pierce! Nicely done!
Jen March 24, 2019
I followed suit and made this into pasta sauce. It was fab! On the table in about 20 minutes total. Far better than the time it took to make. I'm definitely making this again and advise you to as well!!
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.