This kale recipe uses dried cannelini beans, but you can substitute canned cannellini beans to save time. Measure out 2½ cups of cannellini beans from two 15.5 oz. cans. You can either add the leftover canned cannellini beans to make the dish bean-heavy, or save in the refrigerator for later use.
Braised Kale and Cannellini Beans
1 cup dried cannellini beans or dried great northern beans (yields about 2½ cups cooked)
1 bunch green kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice or other Italian rice
4 large fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
grated Parmigiano cheese, for serving
- Soak the beans overnight. Cook the beans by placing them in a large pot with 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the cannellini beans are tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
- Cook the kale while the cannellini beans are cooking. Over high heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kale to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside until the kale is cool enough to handle. Press as much water out of the kale as possible. Then place the kale on a cutting board, and chop to your desired length.
- In a 6-quart casserole, combine the cooked kale, fresh sage, and uncooked Arborio rice with 4 cups of cold water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. When boiling, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Arborio rice is tender, but al dente, about 20 minutes.
- Add the cooked cannellini beans to the arborio rice and kale. Stir in the unsalted butter and cook 2-3 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with the grated Parmigiano cheese.
Yield: 6 servings
This recipe was adapted from Fagioli: The Bean Cuisine of Italy.