Heidi Swanson's Pan-Fried Giant White Beans with Kale

By • September 10, 2014 28 Comments

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Author Notes: The recipe calls for giant beans, because flipping them is easier, and you get more creamy to crusty. Swanson uses beautiful corona beans from Rancho Gordo; I used a bag of dried limas, the only large beans I could find at the unpleasant grocery store nearby; you can use whatever you pull out of your pantry, even smaller cannellini or chickpeas, if that's all you've got -- even canned. Sure, home-cooked beans will keep their integrity and make this the best it can be. But this method is the simplest and most effective way to make canned beans taste better. Adapted slightly from 101cookbook.com. Genius Recipes


Serves 2 to 4

  • 1/2 bunch (6 ounces / 170 grams) dinosaur kale or lacinato kale, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 big handfuls of cooked large white beans (like coronas, limas, or gigante beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces / 45 grams) walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Scant 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup (1/2 ounce / 15 grams) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Chop the kale, wash it, and shake off as much water as you can. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in the widest skillet you own. Add the beans in a single layer. Stir to coat the beans, then let them sit long enough to brown lightly on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside.
  3. Add the kale and salt to the pan and cook for less than a minute, just long enough for the kale to lose a bit of its structure. Stir in the walnuts and garlic, wait 10 seconds, then stir in the nutmeg. Wait ten seconds and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat and serve dusted with Parmesan cheese.

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