Greens and Mozzarella Casserole
- Ready In:
- 1 1⁄2 lbs greens, washed & trimmed (kale, collards, beet greens, or any combination. I usually use spinach)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken or 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 4 tablespoons butter or 4 tablespoons margarine
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
- 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish or casserole; preheat the oven to 375 degrees or (350 degrees if using an oven-proof glass dish).
- Cut out and discard the tough stems of the greens; if using kale or collards, cut out thick center ribs.
- Rinse all the greens and shake off any excess water, then 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 water if the greens seem dry.
- Cover the skillet and 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 broth and half-and-half in a saucepan just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over 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.
- 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.
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Very yummy, and nutritious too!! We used whole cream instead of the half and half and the sauce was wonderfully smooth and creamy and lightly cheesy. The texture reminded me of alfredo sauce. It did slop around a bit as mentioned in other reviews but everyone like it, so thanks for a nice recipe to try!
The taste of this casserole was lovely: a sort of alfredo-esque sauce complimented by tasty greens. However, the consistency left a lot to be desired. My husband could not abide it. In order to keep this "casserole" from being anything other than a creamed spinach variation, it needs something to hold it together. When I make it again, I will use noodles to see if it will hold a shape. Either that, or I'll add some eggs to it in the hopes that it comes out more custard or souffle like.
The cheese and greens balance each other nicely in this casserole. I used kale and subbed the mozarella for fontina. Creamy and very satisfying. I really enjoyed the texture and lightness the ricotta leant to this. We also added several cloves of sauteed garlic, which I highly recommend. Comfort food, for sure.
My whole family LOVED this recipe that I chose for the game Cookalong Challenge. My husband even said we should keep the leftovers - his way of saying he wanted more, but was too full. I could have used more spinach - don't think I had quite as much as the recipe called for, and it always cooks down so much more than I expect it to.