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Baked Kale

23 July

Serves 4-6 as luncheon entree, more as first course

2 1/2 pounds kale or other greens
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour of choice
1 cup milk, or milk substitute, scalded
1/2 cup grated gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash kale under cold water. Remove and discard stems. Cook leaves in a large pot of salted water for 10-20 minutes (if using chard it takes less time to cook). Rinse under cold water and drain, pressing out all liquid. Chop fine.

2. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour. Cook and stir 2 minutes; whisk in milk. Add 1/4 cup grated cheese, the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and hot pepper sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until very thick, add the chopped kale.

3. Transfer mixture to a buttered baking dish; sprinkle with bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.

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