RECIPES

Thom's CANNELLINI & KALE SALAD

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 bunches of kale (Curly Green Kale is preferred)

  • 2 or 3 heirloom tomatoes (go for colors, get yellow, red, striated whatever. Basic vine-ripened red tomatoes work too. The heirlooms have better flavor)  

  • 1 can Cannellini beans 

  • 1 avocado

  • 1 fresh lemon

  • 2 or 3 green onions (red onion also works)

  • garlic

  • red pepper flakes

  • extra virgin olive oil  

  • kosher or sea salt  

  • pepper

 

 

Prep

 

  1. In a tall saucepan, put in a generous glug or three of olive oil. It needs to be deep enough to submerge slices of garlic. Heat on low (1 or 2 out of 10).

  2. Slice 2-3 cloves of garlic, put them in the warm oil followed with a few stiff three-finger pinches of red pepper flakes. 

  3. Let the warm oil pull flavor out of the garlic & red pepper (at least 10 minutes) while you prep the rest.

  4. Rip kale leaves away from stems, tear into bite-sized pieces. Wash and drain the leaves. Throw the stems away, they're too tough to eat. 

  5. Cut tomatoes into wedges, say 8-10 wedges per tomato. Sprinkle salt onto wedges now, this will deepen their flavor and draw liquid out. You'll have to drain the tomatoes when you're ready to assemble the salad. 

  6. Take the avocado, split it, and spoon out "slices" of avocado. Squeeze some fresh lemon on the avocado to prevent browning.

  7. Open the Cannellini beans, rinse and drain.  

  8. Clean and chop the green onions into little pieces. I use scissors and do them all at once. I'll cut them at an angle to make nice long oval slices. If I'm doing red onion, I cut it in half and slice it thinly from pole to pole rather than across the equator. They taste sweeter to me this way.

 

Cooking

 

  1. Turn flame up to medium-high (7 out of 10)

  2. Stir the kale in one handful at a time. This allows the kale to wilt to make room for the rest and you'll evenly coat the kale in the oil.

  3. Stir in two good pinches of salt. 

  4. Cover, turn the heat down to 3. 

  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

  6. Open the lid, taste and add any additional salt and pepper to your liking. The goal is to keep it green, if it goes brown, it gets a bad sulfur cabbage flavor.

  7. Turn heat off, put the kale into a bowl, let it cool. If I'm impatient, I'll chuck in the freezer for five minutes.

 

Assembly

 

  1. In a large bowl combine kale, Cannelini beans, avocado, and a squeeze of lemon. 

  2. Mix them together where the avocado breaks up and turns into a dressing when combined with the olive oil and lemon that are already in the dish. 

  3. Some of the beans break up and their starches make things extra rich and creamy. 

  4. Fold in drained tomatoes and onions.

  5. Taste it.

  6. Add salt, pepper, lemon, red pepper and olive oil to your liking. Shoot, I'll sometimes zest the lemon and throw that in there too. 

 

It's a great balance of textures and salty, fatty, acid, and a touch a red pepper heat.