Let me tell you, this Wild Rice, Kale and Fontina Casserole is amazing any time of the year, but when it’s cold outside, there’s nothing much more satisfying. I just love the nutty flavor of wild rice and of course the beauty of kale combined with luxurious Fontina cheese…and mix in some sauteed onion and garlic, some sun-dried tomatoes, and top with almonds…all baked to yummy, gooey perfection. You can even prepare ahead of time, and bake just before serving. The best! 100% Loon Approved.
Wild Rice, Kale and Fontina Casserole
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice this will make 3 cups once cooked
- 5 cups stock 4 cups for cooking rice, 1 cup for casserole (See Note)
- 1/2 lb fresh kale
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 1 cup Fontina cheese shredded, and divided in 1/2 cups
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Olive oil or vegetable, cooking spray
- 1/2 cup almond slivers
- NOTE: You can cook the rice in chicken or vegetable stock or just water. If using water, you'll only need 1 cup of stock for this recipe. Also, you can substitute Swiss or Gruyere cheese for the Fontina.
- Bring stock, or water, (3 cups) to boil.
- First, rinse the rice under cold water in a colander or fine mesh sieve. Then add the rice to boiling water, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until done, about 45 to 60 minutes. (You may need to add more liquid as it cooks). Once done, drain any excess liquid. Set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
- In a Dutch oven, or large pot, cook kale in 1 cup boiling salted water over high heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
- Heat oil a large skillet over medium-low heat, and add onions. Cook until golden, about 20 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, and nutmeg, and cook 1 minute.
- Stir in flour and cooked kale.
- Gradually stir in milk and 1 cup stock, and simmer for 4 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Stir in the rice, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cheese.
- Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Taste, add more, if desired.
- Lightly grease an 8"x8" dish (2 qt or 2 1/2 qt.) with cooking spray.
- Transfer mixture to dish and sprinkle almonds and remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
NOTE: You can cook the rice in chicken or vegetable stock. or just water. If using water, you'll only need 1 cup of stock for this recipe. Also, you can substitute Swiss or Gruyere cheese for the Fontina.