On cold, snowy days I love batch-cooking soups, grains, and beans, especially less traditional varieties. This recipe features the super-creamy cranberry bean, also called borlotti, which can be purchased locally at Joe’s Parkway.
Yield: Serves 2, with leftover beans
1 pound dried cranberry beans or cannellini, if cranberry are unavailable
2 cloves garlic, skin on, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt
Smoky Bean Bowls
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch of kale, destemmed, leaves torn into large pieces
2 crispy fried eggs for topping
Sort and rinse dried beans. Place beans in a Dutch oven with garlic, salt, and one tablespoon olive oil. Cover with water by 2 inches. Bring pot to a steady boil over medium-high heat; then reduce heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Adjust heat as needed to maintain a soft simmer, until beans are soft and tender, about an hour. Add boiling water as needed to keep beans covered. Once beans are cooked through, you can proceed with the recipe, or cool to room temperature and store in the fridge or freeze until ready to use.
Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add smoked paprika, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toast spices, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of cooked beans, a pinch of salt, and ¼ cup bean cooking liquid or water to the pot. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes to marry flavors and heat through, adding more bean cooking liquid or water if beans begin to dry out. You want the beans to remain loose but not soupy. Once flavors have melded, add apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and set aside.
To make the kale, heat a large, lidded skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add kale, a big pinch of salt, and stir once to disperse the oil. Leave kale undisturbed until it begins to wilt and char, 1 to 2 minutes. Place a quarter-sized drop of water on the pan lid and cover the kale. Cook, covered, about 1 minute more. Remove lid and stir kale. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
To build your bowls, divide beans between two bowls, add kale, and top each bowl with a crispy fried egg. Dust with smoked paprika and serve with warm sourdough.