because it’s winter

Because Monday was our first big snow of the year (of the season, come to think of it),

Because freshly-fallen snow actually warms up the air, which means our driveway hadn’t iced over when I went to the grocery store yesterday,

Because I have learned that, when backing out of an unshoveled driveway, you had better just take a deep breath, aim straight, and GO,

Because cold weather inevitably makes me feel like ladeling butter and/or cream into my arteries, but I am sortakinda trying to avoid this route, even though my parents just snuck a box of, I kid you not, “pure butter shortbread cookies” in my Christmas care package,

Because this recipe caught my eye the moment I saw it and contains not a whiff of butter and/or cream, merely root winter veggies, beans, and greens with a cute egg perched on top, which doesn’t exactly make it light, but could certainly be called healthy,

Because I tutor, and Boyfriend has class, until 8:00 on Tuesdays and we both required a hearty, hot, and 90% finished meal awaiting our return,

And because the world needs more stew,

I made this.

I know I say this all the time, and may be losing some credibility in the “How easy is that!?” department, but I persist: this is really easy. You gotta break down some kale and give it a quick boil. You gotta chop up veggies and soften them in olive oil, add and reduce white wine, and dump in canned beans, canned tomatoes, stock, and herbs. They hang out in the pot for a bit, and five minutes before tabletime you pop in the kale. Dress with a splash of vinegar and toasty, crusty bread. And a poached egg.

Okay, I definitely lost you on that last one.

I promise it’s easy!

This was the perfect stew to come home to. Stews are such flexible little guys: mine sat on the stove, unheated and untended, for over an hour with the patience of a rock. (But much tastier.) You can sub in onions for shallots, chopped up leeks for celery, and next time, if I’m feeling sassy, I am definitely frying up some bacon strips, using the rendered fat instead of olive oil, and topping the assembled bowl with bacon crumbles. Have fun with it.

Kale and White Bean Stew
(From the SK, with minor alterations)

Serves 4-6

What You Need

  • 1 pound kale (can substitute Swiss chard, spinach, or another heavy green), washed, ribs and stems removed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (appx)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 14.5-oz cans of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 cup pureed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

For serving (technically optional, but highly recommended)

  • Crusty bread, like ciabatta, drizzled with olive oil, toasted under the broiler, and rubbed with garlic
  • A poached egg for every bowl (and here’s how!)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

What You Do

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale for one minute and remove. Squeeze out as much water as possible and roughly chop. Drain water, wipe out pan, and return to medium heat.

Add olive oil. When hot, add carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic. (You don’t have to have everything perfectly prechopped. I chopped the carrots, added them, chopped the celery, added them, etc. Just makin’ it easier!) Lower heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add white wine, scraping up any bits clinging to the pot, and reduce by half. Add the beans, tomatoes, stock, and herbs. Cook for 20 minutes. (At this point, you can turn off the heat, lid it, and go about your day. It’ll be fine.)

Five minutes before serving, add the chopped chard. This is also when you want to toast the bread and drop those eggs into barely-simmering water.

To serve, ladle into a bowl and drizzle with red wine vinegar. Stick in a slice of garlic bread, perch the egg on top, and let it rain Parmesan cheese. Eat up!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Because have a storm coming tomorrow, and because you didn’t throw anything into that pot that I wouldn’t like, this stew is what’s for lunch tomorrow šŸ™‚


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