Creamed Kale and Leeks

creamed kale and leeks

We’re big fans of creamed spinach, a classic steak-house side dish. I thought I’d put a little twist on that recipe and substitute kale for spinach and load up on leeks, which are so sweet. Here’s my updated version: Creamed Kale and Leeks.

I frequently like to test my recipes out on friends and invited several to a recipe tasting dinner – the invitation was explicit that these recipes were “in progress.”

Creamed Kale and Leeks buffet table

They all accepted!

Creamed Kale and Leeks dinner party

In addition to this recipe for Creamed Kale and Leeks, I was experimenting with an Herb-Crusted Salmon, and trying to find the perfect way to prepare a prime-rib roast.

Creamed Kale and Leeks with herb-crusted salmon and prime rib roast

I also went back to my culinary school roots and created a classic Raspberry Clafoutis (both regular and gluten-free versions) for dessert. I’m happy to say it was all a success and these turned into finalized recipes, which are coming soon. But here’s a little preview!

I doubled this recipe for Creamed Kale and Leeks (we were 12 for dinner) and it was gone, I mean lick the bowl clean gone, at the end of dinner. It always makes me so happy when people like my food!

Creamed Kale and Leeks with herb-crusted salmon and prime rib roast

SETUP

Fill a large saucepan (7-quart) with cold water and salt and bring to a boil.

Have a strainer ready to drain the parboiled kale.

Fill a very large bowl with water and a couple of handfuls of ice cubes.

METHOD

Destem, coarsely chop, and thoroughly wash the kale. See our blog on How to Clean and Parboil Kale for more details.

Place 1/3 of the kale in the boiling water, stir completely submerge the leaves. Add another third, stir, and then the final third. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Drain the kale and then immediately plunge it into the cold-water bath. Stir a couple of times to make sure all the leaves are free. Remove any ice cubes and drain the kale again.

Scoop up a handful of kale and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Repeat until all the kale in the strainer is gone.

creamed kale and leeks prepping the kale

Place the bacon in a cold large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is slightly crisp.

creamed kale and leeks with bacon

Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

creamed kale and leeks with bacon

See out post on How to Clean and Slice Leeks. 

Add the butter and oil to the skillet and once it foams, stir in the leeks and salt, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very soft. Lower the heat if the leeks are browning.

creamed kale and leeks - sautéing the leeks

Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce until almost evaporated.

Stir in the cream, mustard, and pepper. Once blended, add the kale, breaking up the bunches to fill the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, a little longer if the kale had too much moisture and the sauce in runny.

Serve as a scrumptious side, such as seared scallops.

creamed kale and leeks with seared scallops

Another idea is to poach some eggs LINK and serve on top of the creamed kale and leeks.

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches kale
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 ounces bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Santa Margherita Pinto Grigio, don’t use an oakey Chardonnay, it overpowers the dish
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Note: use slab bacon if you can find it.

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Creamed Kale and Leeks

creamed kale and leeks with seared scallops

Creamed Kale and Leeks is an updated version of creamed spinach. Great with any entree, such as seared scallops, or use for breakfast topped with poached eggs.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish/Vegetable
Scale

Ingredients

2 bunches kale
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 ounces bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Santa Margherita Pinto Grigio, don’t use an oakey Chardonnay, it overpowers the dish
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

Fill a large saucepan (7-quart) with cold water and salt and bring to a boil.

Have a strainer ready to drain the parboiled kale.

Fill a very large bowl with water and a couple of handfuls of ice cubes.

METHOD

Destem, coarsely chop, and thoroughly wash the kale. See our blog on How to Clean and Parboil Kale  for more details.

Place 1/3 of the kale in the boiling water, stir completely submerge the leaves. Add another third, stir, and then the final third. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Drain the kale and then immediately plunge it into the cold-water bath. Stir a couple of times to make sure all the leaves are free. Remove any ice cubes and drain the kale again.

Scoop up a handful of kale and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Repeat until all the kale in the strainer is gone.

Place the bacon in a cold large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is slightly crisp. Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

See out post on How to Clean and Slice Leeks. 

Add the butter and oil to the skillet and once it foams, stir in the leeks and salt, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very soft. Lower the heat if the leeks are browning.

Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce until almost evaporated.

Stir in the cream, mustard, and pepper. Once blended, add the kale, breaking up the bunches to fill the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, a little longer if the kale had too much moisture and the sauce in runny.

Serve as a scrumptious side. Another idea is to poach some eggs and serve on top of the creamed kale and leeks.

Notes

Use slab bacon if you can find it.

Keywords: Kale, leeks, creamy side dish, side dish, vegetarian, gluten-free

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