19 June 2012

Beans with Kale


This dish, pinto beans with kale, is sort of like lobio.  Except that I've never heard of Georgians or Ossetians throwing greens (aside from copious amounts of herbs) into their beans.  So we'll say that it's lobio with a Mediterranean/Italian twist.  Sort of.

In any case, it's another go-to meal that can be thrown together quickly and everybody in my family loves.  The best way to make it would be with dried beans, of course, but I more often than not just use canned pinto beans.  Doing that shaves off a lot of time, and I can have this on the table in under 30 minutes.

You will need:
  • 6 16oz cans pinto beans
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • about 1 Tbsp dried summer savory or sage (I measured it in my hand, so you might have to eyeball this one and then adjust the spices later)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bunches of kale
  • salt and pepper, to taste



First things first.  Chop an onion and saute it in some olive oil in a dutch oven or other such large pot.



Then slice your garlic (or mince it, if you don't like to see large pieces of garlic in your food).  Add to the pot when the onions are getting soft.  Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.







Measure out a palmful of summer savory or sage.  Toss that and the whole cloves in the pot and stir for a few seconds.






 Next, add the undrained beans.  If you are watching your sodium intake, you can drain them first and replace the liquid with water.  Don't cover the beans entirely with water, though, or they will be too soupy.
 Stir well and let that simmer while you work on the kale. 






First, wash well and drain.  I used two varieties of kale just to make it prettier, but if all you can find is green kale, that's perfectly acceptable too.



Then remove the tough stem.  Cut the kale into 1 inch thick strips and set aside.


 It looks like a mountain, but it will cook down in the beans.  I promise.


 Back to the beans!  Now that the kale is ready, it's time to puree some of the beans.  I used an immersion blender, but lacking that, a potato masher works well too.  If you are adventurous, you could try putting half of the beans into a regular blender, but I'm not a fan of transferring hot substances to a blender or food processor.  Especially with Bulldozer and a cat underfoot.


Next, add the kale to the pot.  You could mix it in little by little.  Or you could do like me and impatiently dump the whole bowl in and then mix.  It works either way.



See?  Lovely.
Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with creamy feta crumbled on top and crusty bread on the side for a delicious and quick supper.