Kale with Bacon and Cannellini Beans

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

This recipe actually came from Sara’s mom, who made it for dinner one night at our house, but the reason we really picked it up and ran with it was because of all the delicious kale we have growing in our garden this year.

In fact, the best part about this recipe is that we usually have everything we need to make it on hand at any given moment. There have been many a night where we say, “We have nothing to make for supper,” and then we remember this recipe and go from having absolutely nothing to eat, to having a fantastic gourmet meal.

And if you need another reason why you should make this delicious, yet vegetable-filled dish, I present Exhibit A:

(Stock bacon photo…you’d be surprised at how many of these I have)

The Journey:

It’s hard to say whether this is a hard or easy dish to make. It’s pretty simple, but at the same time it’s sort of a pain to remove all the stems from the kale. Also, we usually make the bacon ahead of time (you’d be amazed at what you can do when you have pre-cooked bacon easily at hand). So if you already have cooked bacon and you have a sous chef to de-stem the kale, it’s a piece of cake!

I should also mention that, while you can eat it by itself, we usually serve it over rice, pasta, or quinoa. It’s plenty flavorful, and the addition lets it stretch far enough to have some leftovers for lunch the next day.

The Verdict:

You know, when I originally put a section for “the verdict” I kind of imagined I would use these First Friday Food posts to try new things. Instead, I usually select from our cadre of favorite recipes. So I always just end up saying, “Yeah, the verdict was it’s awesome!” because otherwise I wouldn’t have put that recipe up there.

So, the verdict is, it’s awesome.

I am well on record saying I do not enjoy the combination of salty and sweet, and yet that is exactly what this is. What can I say, I am a man of many inconsistencies. The sugar combines with the balsamic vinegar, which combines with the saltiness of the bacon and makes something totally new and delicious.

I think this is the best recipe we have for kale, I like it even better than kale chips. If you have kale lying around, like we do, then this is the perfect way to use it (says me — the kids mostly just try to pick out the beans and bacon — oh well, what are you gonna do).

The Recipe:

Recipe from Weight Watchers.

  • 3 slices uncooked bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 pound uncooked kale, stemmed, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canned chicken or beef broth
  • 15 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar, in the raw
  1. Set a large, heavy pot or skillet over medium heat; add bacon and cook to desired crispness. Remove bacon from pot and set aside; leave bacon drippings in pot.
  2. Add onion and red pepper flakes to bacon drippings; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Add kale; cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to wilt, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add broth; cover and simmer over low heat until kale is just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Add beans; simmer, uncovered, until liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Stir in salt, vinegar and sugar; sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve immediately.

5 thoughts on “Kale with Bacon and Cannellini Beans

  1. Pingback: Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider | how's it growing?

  2. Pingback: Kale in the crockpot « G.I. Crockpot

  3. Pingback: Baconfest 2013 | Is this thing on?

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