Beans & Greens
There's something about fall and winter foods that bring me such comfort. The hearty vegetables, decedant sauces, stick to your ribs soups and stews, all made to thaw out those chilly moments with the sense of warm coziness. YUM! This Beans & Greens recipe makes for a quick side dish or a satisfying meal. They became a house favorite over 15 years ago when we visited some friends in Pittsburgh for their wedding. The rehearsal dinner was in this pint sized Italian restaurant called Ciao. The place was so small, only the wedding party could fit. Unfortunately, Ciao is no longer in existence. Rumor has it, the owner moved back to Italy. Certainly a loss for Pittsburgh.
Even though Michael and I fell in love with Ciao's beans and greens, we hadn't thought about them until a decade or so after our trip. I'm not sure what Michael was day dreaming about, but he turned to me and said he wanted to make beans and greens.
Since 10 years or so had past since we had this treat, we weren't sure if we even came close to recreating the beans and greens from Ciao. However, we are still very happy with the outcome and during the Fall and Winter seasons, this side dish is in heavy rotation.
BEANS AND GREENS:
Serving size: 4-5 people
Active time: 20 minutes
1 pound of kale, destemmed, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 can of Great Northern Beans or Cannelloni Beans, drained and rinsed
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced or a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes, how spicy do you like it?
1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg or more to taste.
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1-2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon, optional
Cut the fibrous stems off the kale leaves. These are not good eats.
In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft.
Add the garlic, hot pepper flakes and nutmeg and cook for an additional minute.
Toss in the kale. Kale cooks down considerably, however, if you find you have little room in the pot to hold all the uncooked kale at once, simply cook the kale down until you can add some more.
Pour in the broth and beans. Reduce the heat to medium. Give the mixture a good stir and cover the pot for about ten minutes.
Give the beans and greens a taste, add salt and pepper and chicken bouillon. I could eat this everyday! Make extra, this dish reheats nicely.