Posted in Recipes
Tuscan Kale and White Beans
This is one of my favorite spring foods. I love it when the hardiest of the greens start leafing out in the spring. There’s nothing like the flavor of the first flush of new Kale from roots that overwintered. Yum.
It also barely counts as a recipe- it’s more a casual list of ingredients and an idea that can be thrown together into a nutritious meal in about half an hour, leaving time in brief spring evenings for a bit of outdoor time after dinner in the daylight.
It can be made more simply with a box of frozen spinach as the greens at other times of the year. I don’t recommend this with late season greens; it doesn’t cook long enough to mitigate the toughness and bitterness the summer sun develops in the plants.
I’m generally lazy and use canned beans. I’ve never been good at setting beans to soak the day before i want them. Fresh are tastier, though, if you’re more motivated and/or better organized than me. 🙂
- Fresh Kale; I have two bundles today.
- 1-2 cans White Beans (Cannellini or Navy work well)
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 – 2 T chopped garlic
- 1 – 2 T olive oil
- 1 T black pepper
- 1 T Italian Seasoning blend
- optional: red pepper flakes to taste
You need to use a big pan. I have a pan that’s a cross between a skillet and a saucepan that’s perfect. I’ve made this in a large skillet, but I had to cook it down in stages.
Wash the kale, then strip the heavy middle stem out of each kale leaf and discard them. I hold the stem and slide my fingers towards the tip of the leaf, stripping off the green parts.
Heat the pan with the oil.
Add pepper until it starts to sizzle, then add garlic and stir around
When the garlic starts to brown turn the heat down to medium and add the greens. Cook them down until they begin to soften. I help this process along by covering them with a stockpot lid for a minute or two.
Once the greens have wilted, turn the heat back up and add the tomato sauce, paste, and Italian seasoning.
Add the beans.
Stir it all up, and cook it for another 10 minutes or so until the sauce thickens and the greens soften a bit more.
Sometimes I add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to the top when I serve it, or set the cheese out for others to garnish with if they wish.