- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
- 3 oz Bellwether Farms San Andreas grated (1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (preferably chives and flat-leaf parsley)
- 1 ½ cup milk
- 1 pc (approx 8 oz) Bellwether Farms Crescenza, cubed
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon chili flake
- 4 oz pancetta, diced (or bacon)
- 3 tablespoons Dry Sherry
- 4 lb kale, leaves and stems separated and both cut into 1-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Make the Topping:
Melt 2 tablespoons butter and toss with bread crumbs, cheese, herbs, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
Make the Sauce:
Warm milk in a small saucepan.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 1 minute, then whisk in milk and boil to thickened, about 1 minute. Add cubed Crescenza until melted. Season sauce with salt and pepper and keep on low heat until ready to mix with kale.
Cook the Greens:
In a heavy pot cook pancetta until nice and crispy. Add the garlic, onion, chili flake, sherry and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until softened. Add Kale, ¼ cup of water and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a colander to drain well and press out liquid with back of a large spoon. Toss vegetables with cheese sauce and transfer to a buttered 12-inch oval gratin or 2-quart shallow baking dish, spreading evenly. It may seem like too much liquid, but the kale will absorb most of the sauce. Taste and season for salt and pepper. Top vegetables with bread crumbs and bake in middle of oven until bubbling and topping is golden, about 20 minutes.