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Braised Cannellini Beans with Kale

Kale adds bright color to these tender cannellini beans, which make a wonderful side dish for our Chicken Breasts with Glazed Root Vegetables (see related recipe at left). If desired, cook the beans in vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and serve as a hearty vegetarian entrée.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

In a 3-quart La Chamba clay oval casserole dish set over a diffuser, or in a Dutch oven set directly on the stovetop, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the thyme sprigs, beans, broth and water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Uncover the pot and remove and discard the thyme sprigs.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the kale and cook, uncovered, until the kale is tender but slightly toothsome, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.