- 1 bunch of chopped kale
- 4 tablespoons(1/2 stick) butter
- 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Take whole kale leaves, remove the stalks and major ribs and chop roughly.
Set a large bowl of ice cold water in the sink. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chopped kale and simmer for 1 minute, then drain into a large strainer and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Swish the kale around in the cold water, then drain and squeeze dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel.
Melt the butter in a deep sauté pan or 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down if necessary; do not let the flour brown.
Whisk in the milk. Cook the mixture, stirring slowly and continuously, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until the sauce is the consistency of soft pudding, about 2 more minutes.
Stir in the cheese, mustard, paprika, salt, and a generous quantity of black pepper. Add the drained kale and mix well. Warm over low heat then serve.