Like I promised, here's Kale. Kale has been a frequent star in our house for many reasons. It's one of the most amazing superfoods. I was afraid of Kale for a while. I could only tolerate a couple leaves in my green smoothies, but lately I have been enjoying it cooked in soups or placed on top a bean dish. Kale is one of those foods that gets more nutritious when you cook it. I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten's tuscan white beans. She doesn't call for Kale and she adds fennel to hers. But I would highly recommend throwing kale in this. This is such a comfort food, the flavors are so rustic, this is a new favorite in our home.
Tuscan White Beans
Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?”
1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL
1 YELLOW ONION, CHOPPED
2 CUPS CHOPPED CARROTS (4 CARROTS)
1 TABLESPOON MINCED GARLIC (3 CLOVES)
1 TO 2 CUPS VEGETABLE STOCK OR NO-CHICKEN CHICKEN STOCK (JUST CHICKEN STOCK, IF YOU’RE NOT GOING MEATLESS)
1 TABLESPOON MINCED FRESH SAGE LEAVES
1 TABLESPOON MINCED FRESH ROSEMARY LEAVES
2 TEASPOONS KOSHER SALT
1/2 TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
BUNCH OF KALE
The night before, soak the beans in a large bowl with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, drain the beans, rinse well, and place them in a large stockpot. Add twice as much water as you have beans, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, until the beans are very tender. Skim off any foam that accumulates.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the fennel and carrots, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.
Drain the beans, and add them to the vegetables.
Add 1 cup of the stock, sage, rosemary, some chopped kale, salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until creamy. (If the beans are still hard after 15 minutes, add another 1/2 to 1 cup of stock, and continue to cook until the beans reach your desired consistency. Longer tends to be better.)
Optional, but this is what we like to do. With the extra kale, roughly chop and boil for 2-4 minutes. Top off the beans with boiled kale.