Seeking a Side Dish? Chef Emily’s Got You Covered!

Seeking a Side Dish? Chef Emily’s Got You Covered!

We know how Thanksgiving can be.

Perhaps you’re stressed out about traveling. Maybe the impending holiday shopping has you stressed. Or maybe you just aren’t up for all of those questions about whether you’ll be bringing “anyone special” to dinner this year.

And now someone just asked you to bring a side dish.

Don’t worry. Chef Emily’s got you covered!

“Most people think of kale as either cooked and sautéed and boring, or an [ingredient] in your smoothie, but it can even replace your more high-calorie, creamy, delicious Thanksgiving dishes,”she told WTOP this week.

For her Creamed Baby Kale Casserole, Emily uses local ingredients, including kale, rainbow chard and Swiss chard, to create what she calls, “your new gratin. It’s just kind of a way to get your greens in with your creamy delicious dish.”


  • 1/2 pound kale, chard or other sautéed greens
  • 1 each poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 14 cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a heavy bottom sauté pan and heat for roughly 30 seconds on medium heat. Then add onions, peppers and garlic, and stir continuously. Once the vegetable mixture has turned translucent and is soft, add the cream and 1 cup of milk and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Put the corn starch into a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of milk and mix with a fork until it’s thick and difficult to stir, then whisk corn starch into the milk and cream mixture while it’s simmering. Once the mixture has been allowed to thicken, about one minute, start to add the kale directly to the mixture. The kale will wilt and soften.

Depending on how the cream has thickened, you may need to add a little milk to make the mixture a little creamier. Mix shredded cheese and bread crumbs together separately. Pour the kale mixture into a baking dish and then sprinkle the cheese mixture on top and cover with foil.

Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.