Though packed with nutrients, kale often tastes bland, thick or chewy if not cooked correctly so it isn't a vegetable that most people usually go for. But in this easy recipe, they are soft, tender and packed with flavor. You can leave out the white beans and cook the kale by itself, or use this recipe as a base for experimenting with different ingredients like onions, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, or apples. You could also try tossing it with cooked pasta and sliced cherry tomatoes for a quick meal.
Try the kale with the Easy Pan-Roasted Pork Chops recipe pictured.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of dried red chile flakes (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 bunch fresh kale*, stems trimmed, leaves rolled together and cut roughly into 1-inch ribbons
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed
- Good-quality salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 can of cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
*Note: You can also use other thick greens like chard or mustard greens.
In a wide, shallow pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and add the chile flakes, if using. Add the garlic, and once you see any sign of browning, immediately add the kale strips, in batches, tossing to coat with the olive oil. After the first batch, add the vegetable broth or water and combine. As the kale shrink down, continue to add the rest and toss. Season with salt and pepper and cover, lowering the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, and adding more broth if the kale looks dry, cook for about 7-10 minutes.
Just before the kale looks finished (most of the liquid has been absorbed and it's tender), then add the beans and reseason as necessary (I like to add more chile flakes, but that's just me).
Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the beans are warmed through. Add the lemon juice, adjust seasoning and serve.