Baked Big Beans and Greens

Beans and greensOur Farmers’ Market opens this weekend. This, for our family, marks the true beginning of spring and brings new hope for dinner. So, for one last time this winter, I bring you a kale and cabbage recipe. Soon, soon we will have new veggies in our basket and in our bellies!

This recipe is not flashy or interesting, but what winter food really is? It’s a simple meal for a regular evening and makes use of the herbs that overwintered and the last of our winter veg. I cooked it ahead of time and reheated it for a fast dinner. I actually made it even easier by cooking the greens the night before. I doubled the amount of greens, pulled out half of them after five minutes in the pan, cooled them, and refrigerated them for use in the recipe below. (The rest of the greens, I seasoned and continued to cook for the first night’s meal.)

Baked Big Beans and Greens

Serves 4Dried beans

The night before:
1 cup dried, large beans

To cook the veg:
1 tbls. olive oil
1/4 onion
1/2 of a medium cabbage
about a dozen kale leaves

In a large casserole or Dutch oven:
5 cups of water
1 tbls. olive oil
2 Parmesan rinds
2 parsley sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper

four slices wheat bread brushed with olive oil on both sides

  1. Soak your dried beans in water in a large bowl overnight or for at least 8 eight hours. At the end of this time, drain and rinse.
  2. Chop onion into a small dice. Separate cabbage leaves, rinse, and cut into large ribbons. Take the stems off the kale and also cut into large ribbons.cabbage
  3. Saute onion with olive oil for five minutes over medium. Add kale and cabbage and continue to saute for a brief five minutes more.
  4. Boil 5 cups of water.
  5. Tie herbs, rinds, and garlic in a little cheesecloth parcel. (Alternatively, tie your herbs together and remember to fish out the garlic cloves and rinds before serving.)
  6. In a large casserole or Dutch oven, add the hot water to the cooked vegetables and the soaked beans. Add in the rinds, garlic, herbs, and seasonings. Stir.all together now
  7. Bake at 325F for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. (Taste the beans for doneness after 2 hours.)
  8. When ready to eat, heat a large pan over medium. Brush slices of bread with oil. Toast in the pan on both sides until almost charred. With a slotted spoon, spoon greens and beans over toast.
  • Yes, of course, this would be better with bacon sprinkled over the top. But then it wouldn’t be vegetarian, would it? The Parmesan rinds add the flavor to the broth in the manner that pork traditionally would.
  • Alternatively, serve over pasta or a large grain like triticale.