Besides potlucks, this is a candidate for a hearty Meatless Monday. Or, serve it as a traditional side dish with Sunday’s roast chicken. The microwave methods takes 25 minutes to make and bake.
Kale and Goat Cheese Twice-Baked Potatoes
3 russet potatoes, well scrubbed and pierced with a fork in 3-4 places
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for potatoes
1 bunch kale, washed and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Fine sea salt to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1 log (4 ounces) fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Bake the potatoes on a rack in a 350°F oven until you can pierce them with a fork, about 1 hour. Or, microwave them on the manufacturer’s potato setting. (Note that the setting is for a single potato, so you may need to rotate the potatoes and reset until you can pierce them easily with a fork.) Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until it wilts. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper flakes, if using and continue cooking until it is very tender, about 6 minutes. I like to cook it until it begins to brown, 2-3 minutes more.
3. Slice the still-warm potatoes in half through their widest part and use a tablespoon to scoop out the flesh into a bowl, trying to keep the skins in tact as best you can. Arrange the potato skins in a small baking dish.
4. For the creamiest potatoes use a ricer or food mill to mash the potatoes. Otherwise, a hand masher or fork works fine. Blend in the goat cheese and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to make a smooth consistency. Taste the potatoes for salt. Stir in the kale until it is mixed in well.
5. Holding a potato skin in your hand, scoop a generous mound of the mashed potato mixture into the skin. Repeat with the remaining potato skins. (You can prepare them up to this point in advance and refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days.)
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the potato tops with the parmesan and bake them until they are heated through and the cheese melts, about 10 minutes, or hold them covered in a warm oven for up to 3 hours. (If previously refrigerated, they’ll need at least 30 minutes to reheat.)