Winter greens, especially kale, appear to be one of the majorly desired ingredients of the moment. Unlike that other ubiquitous recent-recipe staple, quinoa, winter greens are a food I legitimately love, rather than feel like I should. To combine it with one of my other favorite foods, white beans? Now that’s a love meant to last.
Recently, I came across a recipe on The Kitchn for stuffed sweet potatoes using beans and greens, and I knew I wanted to try it. However, my son and I are the only ones in the house who are fans of sweet potatoes not in fries-form, so I knew I’d have to substitute regular baking potatoes. While, yes, one does lose some Vitamin A and various other nutrients that a sweet potato gains over its Idaho cousin, it’s still very tasty.
- 5 large baking potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ cups (or 1 can) cooked and drained white beans (I like both cannelini or navy beans)
- 6 cups kale, trimmed and sliced into ribbons (more or less the size of one bunch sold at the grocery store)
- Juice of ¼ lemon (or 1 ½ tsp.)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Scrub the potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Mine took 1 hour and 15 minutes, but they were very large potatoes.)
Start the beans and kale about 15 to 20 minutes before the potatoes are done.
In a wide, deep saucepan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and the bay leaf, and cook until the shallots are softened (roughly 5 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for about a minute. You don’t want the garlic to burn, so it’s a good idea to keep it moving before you add the other ingredients.
Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes or until the kale is wilted and soft. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. (I used around ¼ tsp. of sea salt.)
To serve, slice each potato lengthwise and break up both halves a little bit with a fork. You can add a bit of butter/margarine/etc. to melt into the crevices, if you want. Spoon the beans and kale over the top.
Top with parmesan or sour cream, if desired. Depending on the size of your potato, I found this to be a rather filling dinner. Do give it a try.