Borlotti Beans With Sautéed Baby Kale
From Canal House Cooks Every Day
From Canal House Cooks Every Day by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer. Reprinted with permission by Andrews McMeel Publishing. Copyright 2012. Photograph by Christopher Hirsheimer.
- Servings: 4 to 6.
This recipe is from Canal House Cooks Every Day, written by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, with photos by Ms. Hirsheimer and illustrations by Ms. Hamilton.
"We often keep a pot of brothy beans in the refrigerator (they’ll keep nicely for up to 4 days). It gives us an instant leg up on putting a meal together. We eat them with good thick toast and olive oil, or stirred into a vegetable soup, or served alongside a pork roast or pan-fried lamb chops or duck legs. The list of possibilities is endless. Canned beans are okay in a pinch, of course, but don’t really have the fresh sweet flavor and just-tender, somewhat toothsome texture of beans that you’ve cooked yourself. You get the point. Keep some cooked beans on hand. You’ll thank yourself every time you tuck into them."
- 2 cups dried borlotti beans, soaked for 4 hours or overnight, or 6–7 cups cooked beans
- 1 medium onion, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- Really good extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 – 1½ pounds baby kale
- Cracked black pepper
- 4 – 8 thick slices country bread, toasted
- If using dried beans, put them and their soaking water into a heavy medium pot. Add more cold water, if necessary, to cover them by 2 to 3 inches. Add the onions and bay leaves. Bring the beans just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and very gently simmer them until they are swollen and tender. Depending on the freshness of the dried beans this can take 30 – 90 minutes (or more).
- Fish out and discard the onions and bay leaves. Stir in a generous pinch or two of salt and a glug of the olive oil.
- If using cooked beans, put them in a medium pot with a spoonful or two of water and a splash of olive oil. Cover and warm them over medium-low heat.
- Put 3 tablespoons of the olive oil along with the garlic in a heavy medium pot and warm together over medium heat. Rinse the kale and add it to the pot with the water still clinging to its leaves. Sauté the kale, stirring and turning the leaves in the oil, until wilted and tender, 5 to 10 minutes, adding a splash of water if the kale begins to dry out. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, use a slotted spoon to put a generous spoonful or two of the beans in each shallow bowl. Top with a tangle of kale. Drizzle the beans and kale with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve with the toast.
From The City Cook: If you can't find borlotti beans, which are also called cranberry beans, you can substitute any tender bean such as pintos or cannellini. Baby kale is increasingly easy to find in grocery stores, including by organic produce company Earthbound Farm. Even if you find pre-washed baby kale, still give it a rinse as this will provide just enough moisture for the cooking.