Kale and beans


One bunch of kale, preferable Red Russian or lacinato (flat-ish rather than the common curly or, god forbid, the decorative kale that no one should be asked to ingest).  (You will want to purchase this from your local farmer and not many days after harvest shipped across the country from CA.)

one half small can of beans — Cannellini or Great Northern (I suggest Eden or Westbrae brand, that is, natural.  Beans do not cost much, and since you are not paying for meat, a splurge bean-wise is really not a splurge.)

3 cloves garlic, rough chopped

1/2 to 1 t dried red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/2 – 1 c. vegetable or chicken stock.  Or substitute water and saute one small onion, sliced, before sauteeing garlic.

parmesan cheese, freshly grated

optional: dash of lemon juice or good vinegar to toss on before cheese.  (Chef’s tip:  the acid “brightens” the flavors.)


  1. Rip leaves from kale in large pieces and immerse in a water — either the sink or large bowl/pot.  Swish around occasionally — the idea is to let any dirt clinging to leaves fall.  Later put in colander so you can transfer to stove.  Using sopping wet is a-okay.
  2. Chop up 3 garlic cloves.  No need to spend a lot of time on this.  You are going to be stewing them with kale, so the taste will mellow.
  3. Drain and rinse can of beans.
  4. In a large saute pan that has a lid, put on medium heat and add 2 T olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.  (If you are using water instead of stock, sautee onion for 4-5 minutes before this step.) When the heat comes up, stir around for one minute just until you smell the garlic.
  5. Toss kale on top of oil, garlic, hot pepper, pour in 1/2 c stock, season with salt & pepper, toss to wet kale, cover and braise gently 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more stock (or water) to keep moist.
  6. Add beans, toss, cover and heat through, probably less than 5 minutes. Put a splash of vinegar on top. Serve with grated cheese.

Feel virtuous for eating kale. Just please keep it to yourself. (Your friends will appreciate it.)




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