Recipe: cannellini bean, kale, and sausage stew
I’ve been in Colorado Springs for the past couple of days enjoying a girls’ retreat with my friends, Ellen (our host), Kathya, and Wendy. The words “girls’ weekend” probably conjure up thoughts of pedicures, spa time, shopping, and boozy parties, but… that’s not me. That’s not us. This was mostly time spent around food and Halloween and each other. It was great (see for yourself).
amazing ethiopian dinner at uchenna
i made halloween stockings for each of us to hang by the fireplace
my first visit to garden of the gods
halloween stocking loot the next morning
breakfast tacos (fried egg, avocado, tomatillo salsa, corn tortilla)
and then there was homemade apple pie
ellen’s pup requesting a taste of some pie
homemade sugar skulls for dia de los muertos
gorgeous sunset over pikes peak
toasting before our group effort dinner with sparkling red bubbles
dinner: miso butter roast chicken, gremolata potatoes, caesar salad, lemon-rosemary crown
Despite the mild weather, I am thinking of comfort foods. Meals that are hot and served with a ladle. Winter is coming (ask any Stark) and nothing beats having a steaming bowl of hearty stew to warm up your insides when you come in from the cold. I saw a lovely cannellini bean stew posted by my friend Kalyn the other day and immediately put it on my menu for that week.
chicken broth, kale, sausage, cannellini beans, tomatoes, garlic, herbs
brown the sausage
I am always on the lookout for recipes that require beans, because I love using my pressure cooker to cook dried beans. There is still some adjustment I need to make in getting them perfectly cooked, but I’m getting there. The stew also calls for kale, which both Jeremy and I love to eat. And instead of Kalyn’s turkey sausage, I used spicy Italian pork sausage.
strip the kale from the ribs
everything prepped for the slow cooker
You can make this stew on the stove or in a slow cooker. The advantage of the slow cooker is that you don’t have to babysit the stew while it cooks and it comes out beautifully. Just brown the sausage, prep the ingredients, and put everything in the slow cooker except for the kale, which goes in near the end of the cooking time.
add everything but the kale to the cooker
give it a stir
add the kale
let it stew a little longer
That’s pretty much all there is to it! It’s so easy to throw together and what you get at the end is a nice rich stew chock full of goodies like beans, kale, tomatoes, and sausage. Top it off with some grated or shaved Parmesan and you have yourself a satisfying meal. And if you decide to cook on the stove, it’s not that much more involved. This will be perfect après ski, as soon as we get some snow.
serve with some parmesan and crostini
2 tsps olive oil
1 lb. bulk spicy Italian sausage (or any sausage, but I like spicy!)
32 oz. (2 cans) cannellini beans (or pressure cook 1 cup dried cannellini beans)
2 lbs. tomatoes, diced
2 tbsps garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
4 cups fresh kale
In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the sausage. Fry the sausage, breaking up large chunks, until browned. Drain the beans. Place the cooked sausage, beans, tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, fennel, and chicken stock in a slow cooker. Cook for 2 1/2 hours on high. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can bring everything to a boil in a stock pot and then reduce to a simmer for about an hour. Remove the kale leaves from their fibrous ribs. Chop the leaves (discard or compost the ribs) and add them to the stew. Let the slow cooker continue on high for 45 more minutes. If cooking on the stove, simmer the stew for another 15 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Serves 6-8.