Beans and Greens

Some years back we were watching Aarti Sequeira’s show, Aarti Party, on Food Network and she made Greens ‘n Beans. I made it once following her instructions and decided after that I wanted something a bit different. Here’s my version:

Beans and Greens
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup “red matter” (or 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot)
  • 2 red Fresno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 29-oz. can small white beans (habichuelas blancas is what I get), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the “red matter” (or shallot) and pepper along with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat with oil and cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the kale, which will likely fill the pot. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Dump the rinsed beans on top, add the water and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Using tongs give the kale and beans a stir. Taste a piece of kale; if it is done move on to the next step. If not recover and cook for another 5 minutes. If the pot looks a bit dry add another 1/4 cup of water.
  4. When the kale is done sprinkle with the vinegar and stir. Adjust the salt and pepper and serve.

Notes:
I buy a 1 lb. bag of pre-cut kale as I hate removing the kale from the stem. There are few pieces of stem in the bag however they seem to cook up in the same time as the kale.

“Red matter” is a guajillo and caramelized shallot jam that my husband makes in large batches a couple of times each year. It turned our dressing a festive red. A shallot can be substituted.

Braised Kale and Radicchio

[Braised Kale and Radicchio]I’m surprised I haven’t added a recipe like this yet given the frequency that I make braised greens of some type. We belonged to a CSA in 2011 and with it came an abundance of leafy greens I had never tried except in the “baby” form via salads at restaurants. Through a bit of cookbook and web surfing we came up with several uses for whatever leafy greenness the CSA threw at us, braising being the chief one.
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Saturday dinner 01/30/2010

It was going to be a cold day Saturday so when I was thinking about dinner for our friends I decided soup was the way to go. The original recipe I used came from a copy of Redbook from February 2000. The basic recipe has just 5 ingredients and it comes together in 30 minutes tops. Here’s the menu…

White Bean & Kale Soup
Baked kielbasa & chorizo
Saffron & Herb Bread with salt & pepper crust (thank you ted_badger)
Hot fudge & caramel sundaes for dessert

And here’s the recipe…

White Bean & Kale Soup
– serves 4

Ingriedents
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth (I make it using Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base)
2 19 oz. cans cannelini beans, drained & rinsed
4 cups of kale, chopped or hand shredded into bite size pieces

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the garlic for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the beans, bring back up to a simmer, reduce the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove 1 cup of soup with beans and puree in a blender until it is smooth. Add the puree back to the soup. This helps thicken the soup and gives it a creamy taste without the use of any dairy.
  5. Add the kale and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. The kale should be tender.
  6. Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve.

The original recipe called for 8 oz. of kielbasa to be thinly sliced and cooked first in the pot. It is then set aside and added back with the kale. To make the recipe vegetarian friendly we cook & serve the kielbasa separately. The soup is great either way.

Notes
I made a triple batch of soup to have enough for the 12 folks eating dinner. It was all eaten.

I cheated with respect to the garlic this go around. We have a jar of Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam in the fridge gathering dust. I used two heaping tablespoons of the jam instead of the fresh garlic in this batch. I thought it fit in well.

Ted’s bread this week was particularly tasty. A lovely yellow hue from the saffron the flavor matched well with the soup and the salt & pepper on the crust was a great addition. We went through 1 1/2 loaves of it instead of the usual single loaf.