Sunday, October 23, 2016

CANNELLINI BEANS WITH BLACK KALE - Fagioli Cannellini con Cavolo Nero

There is a Tuscan kale that has become very popular in the last few years. It has many names, such as; Lacinato Kale, Black Kale, Dinosaur Kale, and Cavolo Nero. It is a very tender kale and can be cooked in only 10 minutes or eaten raw in salads. This is a bean dish to serve with any main course. It can also be the main course!

2 cups (500 ml) dried cannellini beans
2 T (30 ml) extra-light olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (1 litre) chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup (250 ml) water
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen twine or ½ t (2 ml) dried thyme
2 t (10 ml) sea salt
1 t (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
½ t (2 ml) red pepper flakes

1 bunch black kale, torn from ribs into several pieces
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup (125 ml) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil

In the early afternoon, place beans in a Dutch oven with enough water to cover by 3 inches.
Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat, cover and let stand for 3 to 4 hours.
Drain beans and set aside.
In the same Dutch oven add the olive oil and sauté the onion for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute.

Return drained beans to the Dutch oven and add the broth, water, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover with a lid and cook for 1 ½ hours; stirring occasionally. The beans should be tender when mashed with a spoon, to the side of the pot.
Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs, if using.

Add the kale and simmer another 10 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice and grated cheese.
Transfer to a warm serving bowl.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

Serves 6

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