With silky greens, lots of cream, and a crackly, blistered, cheesy crust, this gratin was inspired by Renee Erickson’s Lacinato Kale Gratin in her cookbook, A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus. Just pile a ton of greens in a baking dish, pour cream on top, and shower with grated cheddar.
Broccoli rabe can be a love-it or hate-it ingredient. I love it. And, for those who are less sure, this comforting, cozy, decadent gratin will convince you. The sweet cream and salty cheese balance all the bitterness. And the vegetable’s minerally flavor is a great counterpoint at a heavy feast like Thanksgiving.
Make sure you taste the cream after you stir in the salt and pepper. This mixture provides all the seasoning for the gratin, so it should be boldly flavored. —Emma Laperruque
Prep 1 bunch of broccoli rabe: Thinly chop the stems, then roughly chop once you reach the leaves. Wash and dry in a salad spinner. Add to a 9x13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining bunch—this will look preposterous, but just trust, it’ll cook down in the oven.
Stir together the cream, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust if needed. Slowly, evenly pour the cream on top of the broccoli rabe. Sprinkle the grated cheese all over.
Transfer the whole baking dish to a sheet pan (this will catch any spills mid-bake). Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the cheese is beginning to blister and brown, the broccoli rabe is tender throughout and crispy on top, and the cream has thickened slightly.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.