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Sauteed Tuscan Kale with Garlicky White Beans
From Mediterranean Grains and Greens by Paula Wolfert
Serves 2 or 3 as a side dish.
12 small to medium leaves Tuscan Kale (4 oz.)
2 tbs. extra-virgin Tuscan olive oil plus more for garnish
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup cooking liquor from the beans
(see recipe below)
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
(see recipe below)
3 cloves cooked garlic, peeled and halved (see recipe below)
  freshly ground black pepper

Remove the center rib from each leaf and if the leaves are long, tear each into 4- or 5-inch lengths. Wash and pat dry. In a 10-inch straight-sided skillet heat the 2 tbs. olive oil, gradually add the leaves, and cook, stirring, until they wilt and sizzle in the hot oil, 2 minutes. Reduce the heat. Add the sliced garlic, cover, and cook the leaves until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the bean broth by the tablespoon, as needed, to keep the leaves from drying out.

Push the leaves to one side in the skillet; add the beans, salt, pepper, cooked garlic halves, and enough bean liquor to keep the dish juicy; cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.


White Beans

1 cup dried white beans
4 to 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Aromatics Tied In Cheesecloth    
1 spring thyme
2 slices onion
1 carrot
1 small celery sprig
3 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
12 Peppercorns
1/2 tsp. salt

Pick over the beans and discard any foreign matter. Soak in water to cover overnight. Drain; place in a deep pan or clay pot with the garlic, and cover with at least 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, skim carefully, and add the bag of aromatics, pushing it into the beans. If you are sure the beans are fresh, add the salt now. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, then add the salt and continue cooking until the beans are tender. (The time needed will vary, depending on the age of the beans. You can tell when they are almost done by removing one or two beans with a spoon and blowing gently on them--the skin will burst). Simmer another 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow beans to cool in the cooking liquid. Discard aromatics but not the garlic.


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©1999—2006 Paula Wolfert