This gratin is one of those go-to recipes for family gatherings, special celebrations or holidays. But I also like to make it just because… because of its elegance, comfort factor and superfood ingredients. I’m so excited to share this porcini mushroom, greens and forbidden rice gratin recipe with you!
Porcini (say it with me! ‘por-tchee-knee’) mushrooms can be found year round in dried form, typically in 1 oz bags. I find them at my local Co-Op, along with the forbidden rice (AKA purple or black rice). Of course you can always find either ingredient here or here if you are unable to find them locally. This gratin is packed with superfoods. For example, mushrooms are powerful in immune system support and are protective against cancer. Forbidden rice rivals blueberries in anthrocyanin, an antioxident. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is protective against heart disease and cancer. Porcini mushrooms and forbidden wild rice pair well because they both impart a nutty, earthy flavor while the porcini also add a firm, meaty texture.
Before using the mushrooms in this recipe, the dried porcini need to be soaked in boiling water. After about 30 minutes, drain the mushrooms, and reserve the broth. Some of the broth will be used in this recipe, but the remaining broth can be used in soups, risotto or anywhere else you would typically use broth. It is liquid gold! I pour mine into a jar and freeze it.
Caramelizing onions? Ok, so it takes at least 30 minutes for this to happen, but for such incredible flavor, it’s worth the effort. After you slice the onions up, pop em’ in the pan, and stir a few times, they turn into this sweet, caramely and creamy, melt in your mouth goodness.
The swiss chard and kale are courtesy of my local farmers market. If you find these greens locally, at the market now, they have probably been overwintered and are particularly sweet and tender.
This gratin recipe calls for gruyere, but it can be rather pricy, at upwards of $18/lb. I’ve tested this recipe with gruyere and swiss cheese. I prefer the gruyere, simply because the earthy notes blend so well with the other ingredients. However, swiss cheese will work just fine.
My sister says ‘toasted pecans would be a delicious addition to this recipe’ and I tend to agree. I am a pecan fan, but I haven’t tried it yet. If you do, I’d love to hear how it turns out!
My inspiration for this recipe came from Deb, over at Smitten Kitchen. I loosely adapted Deb’s version by adding mushrooms, swiss chard, coconut oil, nutmeg and recommend using forbidden rice (verses wild rice). Thank you, Deb!
I claim that comfort food has finally met superfood! Hearty enough to be served as a main, or decadent side, it won’t last long!
- 1 C Forbidden Black Rice
- 1 oz Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 2 Large Sweet Onions
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbs Butter
- 1 tsp Sea Salt, divided
- 1 tsp Pepper, divided
- 5 Slices of Day Old Bread (to make 1½ C bread crumbs)
- 1 Bunch of Kale, stemmed
- 5 Large Leaves of Swiss Chard
- 8 oz Gruyere, grated
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- Coconut Oil Pan Spray
- Fresh Thyme for Garnish
- Bring 2 C of water to boil. Place porcini in heat proof bowl and pour the boiling water over the porcini. Cover for 30 minutes to soften the porcini.
- Put the black rice on to cook. Fill stock pot with rice and 2 C water. Bring to a boil, turn the stove to low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes. When cooking is complete, place rice in large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Cut the onions in half and slice length wise so that your slices are thin and long. Melt the olive oil and butter in a large non stick sauté pan. Place the onions in the pan with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. These will take about 30 minutes to caramelize. Stir occasionally.
- For the greens, wash the kale and chard. De-stem the kale. Ribbon the greens by rolling the leaves up, length wise, then cutting about ½" ribbons. Then, chop the ribbons in ½. Set aside.
- Place the day old bread in a food processor and pulse until breadcrumbs are formed. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Strain the porcini through a fine mesh sieve and cheese cloth after 30 minutes, reserving the broth. Squeeze the cheese cloth so that the broth is extracted from the porcini. Give the mushrooms a good rinse in the sieve to make sure they are free from derbies. Rough chop the porcini and place them in the large mixing bowl with the rice. Strain the broth through the sieve again. Measure out ¼ C of the broth set aside. Freeze the rest for future use.
- When the onions are done caramelizing, add the greens to the sauté' pan, with the onions. This may be done in two batches. When the greens just start to wilt, pull them from the pan and put them in the large mixing bowl with the cooked rice and porcini.
- In the large mixing bowl, mix all the rice, porcini, greens with caramelized onions, ½ the grated gruyere, nutmeg, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Mix to evenly distribute the ingredients. Taste to check seasoning. Now is a good time to adjust if necessary.
- Prepare a 3-4 Quart casserole by spraying it with coconut cooking spray. Pour the rice/greens mixture in the dish, smoothing it out. Pour a ¼ C of the broth into the mixture. Spread the remaining gruyere over the top, then top the gratin with 1½ C breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Garnish with fresh, chopped thyme.
If you make this recipe, or any others on Vanilla And Bean, be sure to post it to Instagram and tag #VanillaAndBean! I’d love to see what you’ve made! Also, if you like my content, please consider sharing it with three friends and/or family. Thank you!