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Kale with Canellini Beans and Sausage

by Patrick Reinartz

I’m not one to be scared of meals that take inordinate amounts of prep and forethought, but it’s always a pleasure to put together a dish that’s the polar opposite and find that it’s far more satisfying than you could have hoped. I’ve long been familiar with the concept of kale with white beans and sausage, but I never got around to making my own version until recently. What a delightful combination!


Here you have a one-pot meal that really does it all – it’s easy, fast, balanced, and delicious. I can’t really ask for much more than that. Much of the magic comes from the sausage, which pulls double-duty here, providing all of the fat and most of the salt needed by the entire dish.


The essentials (1 serving):

–      Handful of fresh kale, cleaned, rib removed, and chopped

–      1 Cup Canellini beans (AKA white kidney beans), canned or pre-soaked/cooked

–      1 Italian sausage (or something similar, if you prefer/must)

–      ¼ Cup Stock (chicken or veggie)

–      ¼ of a large onion, chopped

–      2 small cloves garlic, chopped

–      salt, pepper

–      nutmeg (optional)

  1. Remove the sausage from its casing and get it started in a wide pan at medium heat until it begins to brown. Italian sausage is ideal, but you have lots of wiggle room here. I used a fairly generic French-style garlic sausage, which I dressed up with some ground fennel, smoked paprika, and oregano. I wouldn’t use anything too spicy though, for fear of overpowering everything else.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes.
  4. Add the kale. Remember that kale reduces significantly as it wilts, so you’ll want to use an amount that appears fairly large.
  5. When the kale is partially wilted, add the splash of stock. It should be just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. It will help the kale finish cooking and unify all the flavours of the dish.
  6. When the stock is cooking merrily, add the beans and grate a little nutmeg into it.
  7. Let everything simmer a couple more minutes, at which time the stock should be largely reduced. Check for seasoning. You probably won’t need to add any salt, since the sausage and stock will mostly take care of that, but pepper is your friend! I might try adding a small squeeze of lemon next time, but it’s totally optional.

And there you have it. Feel free to top with a little bit of freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!



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July 2012
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