This bright and tasty side dish marries the milder, sweeter variety of kale – lacinato – with some wonderful wintry flavors. Feel free to use another variety if you can't find lacinato kale. To make it vegetarian, use vegetable stock. —Kitchenette
15-ounce cans cannellini beans or white kidney beans
cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes
6-ounce can tomato paste
3 to 4 cups
chicken or vegetable stock
lacinato kale, stems removed, sliced into about 1 inch strips
In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until it begins to take on a tan color and smell nutty. Add the beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften and break up a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another minute.
Add about 3 cups of the stock, stir to combine. Then add the kale, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the kale is tender and the liquid has thickened. You may need to add more stock as it cooks.
When the kale is ready, turn off the heat and check for seasonings (keep in mind that you'll be adding salty parmesan cheese). Add the lemon zest and cheese. To serve, top with extra parmesan cheese.