Quick Kale and White Beans


2015-11-08 18.10.01RECIPE #111, DAY #133

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Beans and Greens” from Desperation Dinners, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross*

TIMING: 20 minutes


TOOLS: Nothing special

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: Well, it’s kale and beans, innit? Especially for the amount of time and effort you have to put into this, this is a healthy, hearty dinner for a family or a person alone.

EXPERIENCE: I needed to use up some kale. I also wanted to have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. I grabbed Desperation Dinners and found a recipe for greens. Although the recipe called for canned and collards–two things I don’t cook with–I knew that kale would work. 20 minutes and a loaf of nice bread later, and we were enjoying a healthy family dinner.

It’s not exactly guest food, but it’s perfect for a busy weeknight.

NOTES: To trim kale, fold the leaf in half down the center and cut the stem out by slicing down one side.

I suppose that other greens–like collards, mustard greens, or beet greens–would work here. You may need to cover the pan and cook low and slow for a longer time.

Also, if you want the heat, a hearty pinch of red pepper flake would not be amiss. Nor would a red bell pepper, added with the onion. And if you have time to change out of your work clothes, you might want to cook the onions low and slow too, to get a nice caramelization.


  1. In a wide, tall skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 thin-sliced onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Add 6 thin-sliced garlic cloves and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add 1 bunch trimmed and chopped kale. Stir for 1 more minute.
  4. Add 2 cans canellini beans, 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Raise heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until kale is tender. Taste for salt and pepper.


Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, shaved Parmesan, a wedge of lemon, and crusty bread with butter.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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