Cooking with a wise herb
I have been cooking all sorts of greens lately. So much that the cashier at the store asked me if I was going to use the kale and chard for an 'arrangement' like lemons! Gosh no. Methinks kale looks better in the pot than the vase.
Cannellini beans and kale is a Tuscan classic. The smooth beans complement the woodsy kale nicely. Though I prefer mashed comfort you can keep the beans whole and serve it as a soup with a little elbow pasta thrown in. Leftovers make a great pizza/ tart topping.
CANNELLINI BEANS AND KALE
1 15-oz. can of cannellini beans (or fava/ Great northern etc)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
half bunch of kale, picked, washed and roughly chopped* (or broccoli rabe/ spinach etc)
1 tsp dried sage
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling
salt and freshly milled pepper to taste
Heat oil in a pan. Add minced garlic and onion. Saute till onion turns pink. Add kale and 3-4 tbsps of water. Cover and cook until leaves are tender (this takes anywhere between 7 to 10 minutes. Check periodically).
When kale is done, add beans and sage. Season to taste. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes for flavors to blend. Remove from heat. Mash beans with a potato masher until smooth. Spoon onto a serving plate, drizzle with olive oil and cheese. Serve with crusty bread.
* Kale requires a slightly longer time to cook depending on how mature the leaves are. I remove the stalk and tough stems, roughly chop it into strips and steam it until tender.