Another favorite has been kale.
More often than not, in this house, kale ends its days as salty, crunchy kale chips, though I also enjoy a really simple preparation braising it in olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. I'd heard people for years rhapsodizing over Tuscan white beans, escarole and sausage, and I thought I could make something similar using kale and a Portuguese spicy sausage like chouriço or linguiça. It's a lot like the Portuguese soup Caldo Verde, though minus the potatoes and not as brothy. The beans break down and release some of the starchiness into the broth, thickening it into a spice-speckled sauce, just begging to be sopped up with a crusty Portuguese roll.
Beans and Greens with Sausage
- olive oil
- 1 lb. chouriço
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 large bunch of kale, washed and leaves ripped from the central rib (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 t cumin
- 1/2 t smoked paprika
- 1/2 t granulated garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- Slice the chouriço into 1/2 in. rounds, and then cut those into fourths. Saute them in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned, then add the chopped onion and cook until the onion is soft.
- Toss in the roasted red bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, then add the drained beans and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the cumin and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and then toss the kale leaves on top and cover it tightly and let steam for 5 minutes.
- Stir to mix everything well and add 1 cup of the chicken broth and cover tightly and let cook until the kale is well wilted, and the beans are starting to break down and become creamy.
- Uncover, add the wine vinegar, granulated garlic, the rest of the cumin and salt and pepper to taste and more broth. Stir well and let cook uncovered another 5 minutes, then mash down some of the beans with the back of your wooden spoon or spatula and serve.