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Kale with White Beans & Sausage

I have a confession. I’m a new convert to kale. I thought it would be tough and bitter. Then I tried it for the first time, about a year ago. Wow. Cooked, it’s earthy and toothsome. It tastes good and good for you. Who wouldn’t like that? (Side note: kale chips are awesome)

Might I suggest a large skillet?

Recently, I found myself in the grocery, wondering what to buy for the week when I saw purple kale. I’d only ever tried the Tuscan variety. The curly purple kale just looked cool. I bought it without having any idea what to make.

Really. Folding in the beans is difficult in a medium skillet

I’ve been reading up on Rhode Island and Massachusetts lately because I’m looking to move that way some day. While I’m doing my research, I keep thinking of the food they have out there. Boston has their Irish, of course. Both Boston and Providence have descent size Italian-American communities. But southern Mass. and eastern Rhode Island is also home to a large Portuguese population. I don’t know a whole lot about Portuguese food, but I do know about caldo verde, kale soup.

Thankfully, kale wilts

Kale soup! But I’m tired of soup. So I searched around the internet and came across a couple kale and white bean sautes. Yum! I mostly used one from Emeril Lagasse, but I did tweak it a bit.

Kale with White Beans & Sausage

adapted from Emeril’s Sauteed Tuscan Kale with White Beans

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch kale (about 1 lb), rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lb sausage, chopped (I used a local kielbasa from my grocer)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed

Saute the sausage until it’s just cooked through. With a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel. Add olive oil to the pan, enough to total about 2 Tbsp with the fat rendered from sausage. Add garlic, bay leaf and crushed red pepper. Saute just until garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle lemon juice over kale and stir. Fold in the white beans and reserved sausage, cover and cook until kale is wilted and cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

A nice filling, not-too-heavy, meal for a chilly early Spring night.

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