Braised Kale With White Beans On Toast
I love having a garden. It’s a wonderful space where plants grow, children play, insects roam, cats poop, foxes steal, squirrels dig, toys rot, and slugs and snails dominate. It’s a little ecosystem that can act as a means to gauge the passing of time, and where a certain amount of patience and just a little love will go a long way.
It doesn’t feel like there are four distinct seasons in London, but our garden does a good job at reminding us that, regardless of how we perceive weather, nature’s seasons continue to manifest in the plants. Some plants may flower a little early and others may suffer from a short drought, but overall there seems to be consistency. The daffodils welcomed spring and went, the wild garlic hung around for a while. In a matter of days the first berries will appear to be picked, and more of those little bursts of white shirt-staining unadulterated joy will see us through the summer and a little into the fall.
Summer salad leaves are making an appearance and we hope to have a few apples and plums come autumn (assuming Little Boy Green does not pick them prematurely. Last year he mistook the green baby plums for grapes and some of the early berries for olives. He looked crestfallen when we told him he had basically committed plant infanticide. You gotta shock ‘em to stop ‘em, *kidding*). The brassicas, rucola and African kale that we planted in the autumn served us well through the winter and took a break for spring. But, baby, now they are back with a vengeance.
This week’s recipe celebrates the abundance of kale that we have. While we prefer to prepare our kale so that it is eaten raw, such as in a green smoothie, Deb’s Righteous Kale Salad or a Raw Kale Pesto, it is also delicious served up braised.
We also like beans, all shapes, sizes and colours. We try to have at least one serving a day and a favourite way of consuming them is on a slice of artisanal sourdough bread. Along with some vegetables or greens, beans on toast make a wholesome and satisfying meal. These come together quickly for a weeknight meal. When it’s a warm day in London, little comes close to enjoying a meal, home from work, children asleep and just before the sun sets in our little, but welcoming, garden. Now for that bottle of wine.
Ingredients: (Serves 2 hungry adults, 1 toddler and a baby)
- 200g Kale
- 2 cans drained or 3 cups of cooked Haricot beans
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp low salt veg bouillon
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Wash then slice the kale into ribbons discarding any tough stalks.
- Finely dice the garlic.
- Bring the water and bouillon to the boil in a large pot and then add the kale and garlic. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes giving the kale a good stir every 1-2 minutes.
- Meanwhile toast the bread.
- Drain the beans and add to the kale and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the olive oil.
- Serve warm over toast, preferably (but optionally) with a glass of Italian white, like Soave or Verdicchio.