Sunday, April 24, 2011


So this is what bolted in the garden last week. How to cook it. That was the question.

So I checked my favorite recipe sources and the consistent recommendation was Kale with Cannellini in one variation or another. But most called for lacinato kale (also called tuscan, nero, dino or variations of all). But we have red russian kale, which I learned only by googling some images. Apparently we chose it for it's less bitter taste than the more common curly Kale, at least that's what Elaine suspects. It grows earlier in the season also. But I couldn't find specific recipes for russian kale so I did what I've learned to do. Don't look at the specific ingredients, look at them as placeholders for a class of ingredients.

All the recipes for kale with beans called for sautéing veggies in a fat, then adding spice, liquid, and then beans and greens. Most sautéed a few onions, carrots and garlic in olive oil, then added cannellinis, liquid and kale. Others substituted pancetta or sausage fat for olive oil, added some celery or tomatoes to the carrot, or used other beans (navy, great northern, lima, kidney, black) or other greens (spinach, collards, chard, cabbage). The variations are clearly endless, but the overall approach was the same.

And so this is my recipe, based on what I had on hand and in our garden. One chopped carrot, onion and celery stalk sautéed in a little olive and sesame oil until softened. Then 3-4 finely chopped garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for another minute. I then added 3 cups of chicken stock to the mirepoix, bringing it all to a boil before adding 7 cups of washed, de-stemmed and chopped kale. I then simmered for 3 minutes and added a 1/2 can of cannellini that had been puréed with 1 cup stock and then the remaining  1/2 can of cannellini and 1 can of black beans (it was all we had). A little more salt, some pepper, a bit of chopped thyme, rosemary and sage from our garden and the juice of one lemon to add some taste. Served it with some shaved parmesan cheese and olive oil drizzled on top. Would have been better yesterday when it was raining and 58 degrees rather than sunny and 78. But it'll do. It'll definitely do.

1 comment:

  1. I can aver, it was delish! (2 servings--big ones!-- for lunch)
    P.S. Nice photos, too