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Braised Kale with Cannellini Beans

January 15, 2013

We just never know the impact our actions will have on others.

This past weekend I joined the Food Bloggers LA (love this group) monthly meeting on all things kale. Local growers were on hand giving away kale, greens and chard (thank you to Jan of Cut & Clean Greens) and blood oranges (thanks Nancy of Melissa’s Produce). Chef Garrett was there to demo kale salad-making.

He also prepared kale margaritas for us. Delicious- I kid you not.

Kale Margaritas

No wonder our intrepid organizers dubbed it Kale-a-palooza!organic kale

The kale dishes were inspired. Believe me, I never saw my Novio enjoy so much kale in one sitting (of course, me too). Everything from peanut soba noodles with kale to (no, not a typo) kale brownies.

kale table

And here comes the unexpected delight of the day for me. When we were getting into the car, one of the participants approached me to say she’d be checking out my blog. Turned out Rene Lynch is a food writer for the LA Times. Something connected in my mind. “Wait a minute,” I said, “Are you the one who wrote the piece last summer on Erika Kerekes and how she helped organize Food Bloggers LA along with Dorothy Reinhold and Patti Londres?” She smiled, “That was me.” (To view the article, click here.)

I had to hug her. It was through her article that I first learned of the group and knew immediately it was something I wanted to be a part of. Rene couldn’t believe how her article impacted me.

But there was more. I looked at her and said, “Ya know, a couple of years ago, there was a feature article in the Food Section on Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman (an insanely popular blog).” I knew zip about the world of food blogging and was experiencing some big bumps in my road. I told Rene that I remember putting that article aside because it was something that was really exciting to me.

Rene looked at me intently. “That was my piece too.”

“Oh My God!” This time I grabbed her and hugged her and kissed her. “You helped open the next chapter in my life!”   It was clear that she was moved.  She  had touched me and my life’s path, not once, but twice.  And last weekend, I had the rare opportunity to touch her in return.

And, so, on to kale.

curly kale

I found out that, though most people discard the center rib of each leaf, that’s actually where most of the potassium hangs out.  As with chard, you can easily use it in your cooked dishes by sauteing it first, let’s say with shallots or onions, and adding the leaves a bit later.


Kale has an affinity for a variety of seasonings.  I wanted something warm, so I chose ginger and Garam Masala.

Garam Masala to season kale

kale braised in wineBraising the kale in wine, whether white or red, gives the dish a wonderful depth of flavor.

my kale dish

Simple, quick and delicious



1 bunch kale
2 T. olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. Garam Masala
pinch of sugar
2 T. chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c. white wine (red wine is delicious too!)
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans


Rinse kale leaves and dry (it’s fine if a bit of water clings to the leaves). Tear or cut greens along either side of the center rib and chop into bite-sized  pieces. You can also do it the other way, cutting up kale and then rinsing.

Heat large saute pan and then add olive oil. Put pinch of sugar and seasonings into heated oil- salt, pepper, ginger and Garam Masala. Allow to cook on medium heat for one minute.

Add thinly sliced shallots and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add kale in batches, allowing it to wilt a bit and toss with the sliced shallot.

Add broth and wine. Bring up to a boil, lower heat to medium-low and cover. Cook about 15 minutes, or until kale is cooked through.

Add cannellini beans and cook until heated through.

Serves 4 as a side; 2 as a main.

Happy Judy

Happy Judy


From → Sides, Veggies

  1. Andra permalink

    A full circle moment!!! Very cool Judy! I’m so happy for you 🙂

  2. shockinglydelicious permalink

    So happy to see you there, Judy! What a great story!

  3. That is a fabulous story, Judy. I am so glad you found us!

  4. Lynn Stevens permalink

    Lovely green! Serendipitous experiences are the best example of “There are no accidents”! You are an inspiration as well, Judy. Thanks for the kale recipe – including the rib. I leave the rib in and don’t saute it separately as we like that extra texture. Great idea to use the warm spices – goes with your warm personality!
    Hugs to you.

  5. Hannah Simpson-Grossman, Israel permalink

    Dear Judy,
    Amazingly enough, Kale has been the guest of honor in our Israeli Kosher food forum over the past few weeks as well.
    Unfortunately most of us over here haven’t managed to put our hands on a bunch yet and whenever one of us does we are quick to report the location where it has been sighted…
    It was delightful to read about your Food Bloggers LA meeting – the menu seemed so L.A.ish, green and healthy! Iwould love to taste Kale brownies!
    And another coincidence – our forum’s winter semiannual meeting is scheduled for this upcoming Tuesday and we usually feature some extraordinary dishes on those– shame you can’t be our guest of honor…
    Shabbat Shalom,

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