kale with beans

Kale has such great nutrition hype, but it is such a tough leaf compared to spinach or Swiss chard or our favorite Italian bieta (a nicer version of Swiss chard than available in the US) that each time we try it, we are somehow disappointed. But we still keep trying. Wegmans offered a 10oz package of recipe ready chopped kale that gave us hope for another trial. Returning home after an early evening extremely intelligent Center for Arab and Islamic Studies talk by a former Jordanian ambassador to the USA, with a lot of poor quality strawberries waiting in the fridge to join a risotto, we were in need of a meat/fish replacement, so we went with the pre-chopped kale and some canned borlotti beans that were on hand. Wow, we should make both of these dishes more often.


10 oz chopped kale
2 T oil
1 cup water (or broth)
salt and pepper to taste
a touch of nutmeg
a touch of red pepper flakes
1 can cooked beans (we used borlotti, 14oz).


  1. Heat 2 T of olive oil in a skillet. Then add the water/broth and kale and toss to combine.
  2. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes, add more liquid if necessary.
  3. Then toss in the beans and spices and heat through.


  1. By coincidence a possible solution for the kale toughness problem materialized a few days later in the local paper. Russ Parsons of the LA Times suggests massaging your kale to soften it up for salad, maybe it will work for cooking too: "Give it a massage. Yes, seriously. And I mean a real massage a deep-tissue bone-breaker. Grab bunches of it in both hands and squeeze. Then rub them together. And repeat. It's almost like kneading bread dough. It won't take very long just a couple of minutes but you'll be amazed at the difference. That tough cellulose structure breaks down wilts, actually and those leaves that once seemed so coarse and fibrous turn silky." We'll give it a try.
  2. Illustrations available.
kalewbeans.htm: 29-mar-2012 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]