Serves about 8 to 10
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 bunches of Lacinato Kale, also sold as Tuscan kale, Dinosaur kale or Cavolo Nero, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped, washed and drained, you can substitute other varieties of kale
1-12oz. jar of artichoke hearts in water, drained, water squeezed out by hand and coarsely chopped or artichokes hearts in oil
4 to 6 garlic cloves,or to taste, thinly sliced
1 fresh red Fresno chili pepper, seeds and stems removed, minced, substitute 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup of white wine
1 cup organic mayonnaise such as Spectrum Naturals, Organic
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
Juice from 1/2 of a small lemon
1 1/2 cups Fontina Val d’Asta, shredded, you can substitute your favorite fontina or similar cheese
1/2 cup Comté, shredded, you can substitute Gruyère, or additional Fontina
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus additional for topping
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sriracha or Tobasco, to taste, or your favorite hot sauce
Crostini (recipe here)
Wash and drain the kale, but do not dry. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté or fry pan. Add the onion, with a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and fresno pepper. Sauté, and stir, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Watch the garlic and onions to make sure they don’t burn. Add the kale, with a a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir or toss to coat with the oil, pepper and garlic.
If your pan won’t hold all of the kale, add it one handful at a time. Wait until the previous handful starts to wild before adding the next Once all of the kale starts to wilt, about 2 minutes, add the artichokes and 1/2 cup of white wine. Cover the pan, increase the heat to medium- high and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the wine has evaporated and the kale is barely tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste the kale mixture and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Let the kale mixture cool for about 30 minutes. Then place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to roughly chop the kale and artichokes. You can also do this step by hand with a sharp knife.
Transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl and add the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, 1 cup of the Fontina, the Comté and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix all of the ingredients together, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
You can also stir in the Sriracha or Tabasco sauce at this point, according to your own taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until flavors have a chance to develop, about 2 to 8 hours, depending on your schedule or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350o. Butter a baking dish and transfer the kale mixture to that dish. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Fontina and some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to the top and bake until the top is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes in a convection oven, about 40 to 45 in a regular oven. You can also place the dish briefly under the broiler to add some additional color to the cheese. But watch it carefully to avoid burning.
Let the dip rest for about 5 minutes and serve while still warm with crostini, good bread, crackers or perhaps with a poached egg for brunch.