Kale, leek and Cheddar bake
This wholesome bake is a perfect lunch and makes good use of any leftover rice and leafy vegetables knocking around. I recommend using a pouch of ready cooked rice here but obviously you can use your own home-made if you have any.
This recipe was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s Wild Rice Casserole in her vegetarian cookbook Super Natural Every Day which I highly recommend.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
2 tbsp finely chopped sage
125g kale, stripped from thick stalks and torn into chunks
150g g crème fraiche
1tsp Dijon mustard
75g grated cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 250g pouch of mixed cooked wild and long grain rice
15g Panko breadcrumbs
Butter a 25cm x 18cm baking dish and preheat the oven to 200 ℃.
Melt the butter with the oil in a wide frying pan that has a lid. Add the leeks and bay leaves with a pinch of salt and cook gently for 10 minutes until very soft. Remove the bay leaves and then add the garlic and sage and cook for a further minute.
Add the kale to the pan, give it a stir and then cover with a lid. Cook over a low heat for 7 minutes until wilted. Give it a stir halfway though.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the crème fraiche with the egg, mustard, all but 15g of the Cheddar, a good pinch of salt and some black pepper as well as some freshly grated nutmeg. Finally add the rice.
Once the kale is ready, add to the bowl with the crème fraiche mixture and stir to incorporate. Pour into your prepared baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs and remaining Cheddar. Bake for around 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.