Beans and Greens
We went on a quick vacation two weekends ago and while it was great, I came home really craving something super healthy to eat. We ate pretty healthfully on vacation- lots of fresh fish- but after several days in a row of eating out I just wanted something simple, home-cooked, and nutrient-packed. I wanted greens.
This is derived from a recipe I’d bookmarked a long time ago on Cooks Illustrated, and I found it surprisingly delicious. I expected something virtuous and colon-cleansing; I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so tasty. Even John, who does not like kale, said “this is the best kale you’ve ever made.” Hardly a “make this for my birthday dinner” endorsement, but for those nights when you really want something super-healthy and quick, it’s a winner.
Rosemary Greens and Beans
The original recipe was for twice as much. This version makes enough for large portions for two people- if you want more, it would double easily. And hey: only one pan!
1 pound kale, mustard, collard, or turnip greens, stemmed and washed thoroughly
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans) rinsed and drained
1 cup of veggie or chicken broth or stock
cooked brown rice or quinoa
fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional, but really why would you skip it?)
- Bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add greens and simmer until tender, about 7 minutes. (You might really have to shove the greens in to make them fit at first, but it cooks down quickly.)
- Drain greens. Run the pan under cold water to cool it down, then fill it with cold water and plunge greens in to stop cooking.
- Squeeze greens in a colander gently until only a few drops come out when you squeeze; chop roughly.
Return saucepan to stove. Heat oil for a minute or so, then add garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary and about 1/2 tsp salt until fragrant and garlic starts to sizzle. Add greens and saute to coat with oil.
- Stir in white beans and the one cup of broth. Taste for salt; you may need to add more if you’re using low-sodium broth.
- Simmer for 5 or so minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
- Place some brown rice in two bowls; ladle greens and beans over the top. Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Notes and tips:
- Don’t skip the rosemary; it’s a really important part of the flavor of this dish.
- I used a package of frozen microwave brown rice from Trader Joe’s, which is a great product to have on hand when the forty-five minutes to make brown rice from scratch just isn’t available.
- For broth, a boullion cube or single-serve packet of stock concentrate (available in boxes in the spice section of TJs) is great for when you don’t want to open and then waste a large can or box of stock.