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Creamy Kalette Baked Pilaf

  • Yield: 4-6 side servings 1x


Savory, earthy, creamy autumnal rice pilaf laced with lightly sautéed kalettes and topped with summer’s best dried tart cherries.


  • Rice
  • 3/4 c. Trader Joe’s quick-cooking brown jasmine rice
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 3/4 c. broth
  • 1 tbsp. salted butter
  • kosher salt
  • Kalettes
  • 2 c. kalettes, packed
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Cream Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. salted butter
  • 1/4 c. onion or shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 c. broth
  • 1/3 c. heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • nutmeg
  • panko (bread crumbs)
  • Garnish
  • dried tart cherries, chopped


  1. Make Rice. Into a small sauce pan, add rice, water, broth, and pat of butter. Add a liberal pinch of coarse kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until water is no longer visible. Remove from heat. Keep covered and set aside for another 10 minutes. Rice will continue to steam in pot. If using a different type of rice, follow package instructions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set out a 8 x 10″ baking dish (or similar size).
  2. Meanwhile prepare kalettes. Chop off woody ends. Heat a large skillet. Once hot, add a couple glugs of olive oil followed by the kalettes. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and remove from pan into baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Make sauce. Finely chop onion. Heat butter in same large skillet. Once hot and melted, add onions. Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes until translucent. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir to coat. Once absorbed, pour in broth and heavy cream. Stir well to incorporate. Add in thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to stir until sauce thickens. Finish sauce off with a couple grates of nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Remove from heat.
  4. Into the baking dish, stir together kalettes, rice, and sauce until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle top with panko. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
  5. Garnish with dried cherries. Serve warm.


• Rice can be made ahead of time. If previously refrigerated, bake for an additional 5 minutes or until heated through.

• Quinoa is a great stand in for rice in this recipe. You’ll need about 3 cups cooked for an equal substitution.

• If you can’t find Kalettes, use thinly sliced brussels sprouts or kale.

• If short on time, skip the bake and bread crumbs. Stir rice and sautéed veggies into the cream sauce and heat until warmed through.

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