There are times when I read a recipe and shake my head, wondering why I couldn’t come up with such a fantastic combination of flavors on my own. Most of the time, when I’m doing this, I’m reading 101 Cookbooks. If Heidi doesn’t write the best food blog out there, she writes at least the best vegetarian food blog out there. This recipe is a riff on her Pan-Fried Corona Beans and Kale.
I needed a quick lunch, and this was the quickest thing I came up with after a few minutes of Internet digging. Consider this: the longest step in this recipe takes 4 minutes. Nice. I made several changes to the original using ingredients I had on hand, but the cooking method stayed mostly the same. There are lots of unusual flavors combining here: orange, nutmeg, a nice herbal zing from the kale, and a bite from the goat cheese (if you leave this out, the recipe is vegan). I used borlotti beans that I cooked a while back and kept frozen till now, but I imagine many types of beans will work (I’m thinking chickpeas for the next go-round). Just be careful if you use canned beans, as they tend to break into mush a little faster than dried, cooked beans.
Pan-Fried Beans and Kale (heavily adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
6 oz kale, stems removed (about 1 bunch)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3.5 cups cooked borlotti beans
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Juice of 1/2 an orange
zest of 1 orange
3 oz crumbled goat cheese (I used the mixed herb basket chevre from Pure Luck)
Finely chop the kale. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the beans in a single layer. Stir to coat the beans, then let them sit long enough to brown 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.
Add the kale and salt to the pan and cook for about a minute. Stir in the walnuts and garlic, wait 10 seconds, then stir in the nutmeg. Wait ten seconds and stir in the orange juice and zest. Remove from heat and crumble goat cheese over the mixture.