Wednesday, February 16, 2011

White Beans and Rice

I got home one night last week at 8pm, walked into the kitchen, and went to gaze half-heartedly into the fridge to find something not too ridiculous to make myself for dinner ("not too ridiculous" has been known to include microwave popcorn, but ever since our cupboards got their whole food makeover, we haven't had any in the house). I noticed the leftover home-grown cannellini beans from our pasta and some dino kale in the vegetable drawer, and threw together an easy, all-in-one sort of dish in the vague hope that it would be mildly edible.

Apparently, the cooking gods owe me one from a certain roasted vegetable fiasco last week that I am choosing to pretend never happened, because this ended up being amazingly delicious. Serve it over black Forbidden rice or else regular brown rice, and top with some good-quality extra sharp white cheddar.

Ingredients
Olive oil
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 bunch dino kale, sliced crosswise into ribbons*
2-3 cups cooked cannellini beans (or sub canned)
1/2 cup cooking liquid and/or chicken broth*
1/4 tsp dried oregano or more to taste
Salt (unless your canned beans are already high in salt)
Sprinkling ├▒ora pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp chopped parsley or more to taste
1/2 cup grated extra sharp white cheddar

Heat a glug of olive oil in a wide pan over medium heat. When hot, add the shallot and saute for a couple of minutes until it just begins to soften, then add the smashed garlic clove, pressing it into the olive oil. Continue cooking for another minute or two until the garlic clove begins to brown and the shallots are soft.

Add the kale and saute, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until it wilts. Next, stir in the beans, and add the chicken broth, oregano, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down a little, and simmer for a few minutes. Add the dried pepper and parsley, cover, and simmer for 5-7 more minutes, adding a little extra broth if necessary (you want some liquid left at the end, like a sauce, but it shouldn't be soupy).

Serve over rice, lightly sprinkled with cheese.

Serves 2.

*Variation on a theme: Substitute chard for the kale, white wine for the chicken broth, and sprinkle with extra parsley at the end.

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