Greens and Cheese Bake
- 1 1/2 pounds greens, washed and trimmed (kale, mustard, turnip, collard, or mixed)
- salt and black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup ricotta or cottage cheese (I use cottage)
- 3 tbsp. dry bread or panko crumbs
- 2 ounces Mozarella cheese, shredded, about 1/2 cup
Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish or casserole; preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut out and discard the tough stems; if using kale or collards, cut out thick center ribs. Rinse all the greens and shake off any excess water, chop them into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large skillet, cook the greens over low heat, adding them by handfuls and stirring them down as they wilt. Add 1/2 cup of the broth, then cover the skillet; braise for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Pour off any liquid left in the skillet, then season the greens with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 cup of broth and half-and-half in a saucepan, just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
In the large skillet, melt the butter over the low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the hot broth mixture all at once and stir over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the grated Parmesan and ricotta cheeses. Stir the greens into the cheese sauce and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and then sprinkle the grated mozzarella over the top; bake for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the mozzarella is melted and lightly browned. Serve immediately.