Collard Green Gratin
- 4 oz. very thinly sliced country ham or prosciutto
- 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bunches collard greens (about 1 lb.), center ribs and stems removed
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Prep: 45
- Cook: 25
- Serves: 8
- Preheat oven to 325°. Place ham on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, 20–25 minutes; let cool and break into pieces.
Combine breadcrumbs and 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet; toast over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat and add thyme and ¼ cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Mix in ham and set aside.
- Cook collard greens in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl of ice water, and let cool. Drain and squeeze dry with paper towels. Coarsely chop greens and place in a large bowl.
- Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to bowl with greens; set aside. Reserve saucepan.
- Increase oven temperature to 400°. Melt butter in reserved saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and very pale brown, about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, ½-cupful at a time; add nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking often, until thickened, 5–8 minutes. Whisk in remaining ¾ cup Parmesan. Add béchamel to collard green mixture and mix to combine; season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer collard green mixture to a 10” cast-iron skillet or 9” pie dish and top with breadcrumb mixture; place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until gratin is bubbling, 15–20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.