Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crimini and Kale Casserole

This weekend I turned twenty three.  For some reason, I find that twenty three almost sounds older than twenty four, which I know makes absolutely no sense.  I blame it on that creepy Jim Carrey movie I saw a few years ago The Number 23.  (I do not recommend this film, as I recall, it was pretty terrible.)

Anyway this weekend was spent relaxing and catching up with some friends.  In fact this weekend was so relaxing, I didn't manage to snap any pictures of my eats.

Since I've failed as a photographer and this recipe falls into this month's theme so well, I thought I would share a dish I promised y'all a couple of weeks ago.

Crimini and Kale Casserole

To me casseroles are the equivalent of a warm sweater on a cool Autumn evening.  Easy and comforting, this casserole is loaded with sauteed kale, crimini mushrooms, and caramelized onions.  It is very satisfying in a hearty way, but still seems light enough to be appropriate for our not quite fall weather.


16 ounces 4% cottage cheese
1.5 large yellow onions, thinly sliced into half circles
3.5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt & pepper
pinch of cayenne to taste
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly sliced
8 cups kale, cleaned, trimmed, and chopped into ribbons
16 ounces whole wheat shell pasta
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
chicken stock (optional)


1.  In a large sauce pan melt the olive oil and 1.5 tbsp of the butter.  Once hot, add the onions and cook until caramelized (about 45 minutes).  Add the fresh thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Deglaze the pan with a little water or chicken stock.
2.  Next melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter, and saute the mushrooms in batches, until most of the water has been cooked out of them.  Remove from the pan and set in a separate bowl from the onions.

3.  Deglaze the pan once again and add the kale, cooking until softened but still bright green, about 3 minutes.
4.  In a food processor combine the cottage cheese, caramelized onions, and cayenne, pureeing until completely smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5.  In a large pot of boiling water,  cook and drain the pasta, leaving it slightly under done.  
6.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Combine all of the ingredients (except the cheddar) and spread into a large baking dish (I used one approx. 9x17inches).  Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake for 15-20 minutes until casserole is heated through, and the top has lightly browned.

Be sure to check out all the fun over at Peas and Crayons!

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