Gourmet Veggie Mama

Beans and greens

One of my easiest go-to vegetarian meals is beans and greens. There is an endless number of variations on this theme, but one of my favorites is kale and white beans. The only drawback is that you have to remember to soak the beans, but if you can manage do that and maybe even cook them ahead of time, it makes for a super-quick weeknight meal, usually with leftovers for the next day. Hurrah!

This week we got spigariello in our CSA box, and the internets informed me that it is interchangeable with kale in most recipes, so I decided to give it a whirl.


The results were tasty! The key to this recipe is lots of butter and fleur de sel*, which makes it extra-yummy. I never claimed it was health food, exactly…

Creamy White Beans with Greens 
Based on this recipe

1/2 lb. medium or large white beans (such as Great Northern), rinsed and soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours)
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch kale, spigariello, or other greens, rinsed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
fleur de sel (or kosher salt) and pepper to taste

Cover beans with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes and then skim off foam; reduce heat. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 30-60 minutes, until tender.

Drain beans. Heat butter over medium high heat in a large, wide skillet. Add beans and stir to coat with butter. Sautée, stirring infrequently, until warm and a little golden brown. Meanwhile, blanch greens in boiling water (2-3 minutes) and drain.

Push the beans to the side and add the olive oil. Once heated, add the garlic and onions and sautée until tender. Stir in the greens and cook until tender. Sprinkle with a generous dose of fleur de sel and pepper and serve warm.

* At some point, the hubby bought a crapload of fleur de sel in bulk off of Amazon.com. We will never, ever run out, and it is delicious, which is why I use it in pretty much everything. You can easily substitute kosher salt or regular salt if you are feeling less spendy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

6 Thoughts on “Beans and greens

  1. Gourmet Veggie Mama, why do blanch the greens before sauteeing? Is it to cook them more thoroughly than sauteeing alone? Wouldn’t you lose some of the nutrients to the cooking water?

    • Good point — I had never really considered that before.

      You can easily just sautee them, but it takes a little longer and they don’t turn out quite so tender. Cooks Illustrated (which is pretty much my cooking bible) says to blanch “assertive greens” like kale before sauteeing them. You are right that you will lose some nutrients in the cooking water, but my guess is it’s fairly negligible, since I only leave them in for a minute or two. I suppose the best of both worlds would be to just sautee them with a little extra liquid (water or veggie broth), which would evaporate, in theory leaving all those nutrients in the pan, but also making the greens a little more tender. I may have to try that next time!

  2. Interesting! Sometimes I love Cooks Illustrated and other times they drive me crazy with 35 additional steps to make minor improvements. I would imagine the nutrient loss to be fairly negligible, too. I hadn’t heard of this technique before, but I could totally see how the added step would help tenderize the kale. I’m probably too minimalist a cook (aka too lazy) to boil a pot of water just to blanch kale that I’m about to sautee anyway, but I bet the extra liquid in the sautee would work well. Thanks, Lauren!

  3. Pingback: Beans and greens redux | Gourmet Veggie Mama

  4. Pingback: CSA day! | Gourmet Veggie Mama

  5. Pingback: Farewell to my garden | Gourmet Veggie Mama

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation