Kale is in season and abundant in the garden at the moment. Here is a way to cook a really tasty meal using kale, tender butter beans and the best Italian sausages you can get. The rice can be prepared ahead and makes for a substantial but satisfying meal. This is my favourite way to cook kale and I hope that you will enjoy it too.
Kale, Italian Sausage and Butter Beans with Rice
- 1 large bunch of kale, washed well, stalk removed and chopped
- 4 good Italian sausages (other good pork sausages could be substituted)
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 slices of Parma prosciutto chopped finely
- 1 clove of garlic sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 400 g tin of butter beans, rinsed well
- 1 cup of medium grain rice (not suitable for arborio but will work with long grain rice as well)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or a good vegetable stock, or an equivalent made with stock powder and water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Prepare the rice as per the instructions below and while it is cooking prepare the kale, sausages and beans
- Remove the casings from the Italian sausages and cut into small pieces (see *note below)
- Place olive oil and a 1/4 teaspoon of butter into a large, wide saucepan that has lid and heat on high
- Cook the sausage pieces until well browned
- Scatter over the chopped prosciutto over the sausages. stirring through and cook for a few minutes more
- Turn the heat to medium and add the onion slices and cook gently for another 5 minutes until softened
- Add the sliced garlic and cook for a minute
- Add the chopped kale and the half cup of stock, seasoning well with salt and pepper
- Cover and cook for 5-9 minutes depending on the tenderness of the kale
- Test after 5 minutes. The kale should be wilted. Young kale leaves harvested straight from the garden takes less time to cook
- Add the drained and rinsed butter beans, stirring them through well and cook for 6 minutes.
- Set aside for a further few minutes.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan
- Add the rice and stir till toasted well and coated with the oil
- Add the stock, season with pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil
- Lower heat to a low simmer, and cover
- Cook for 18-20 minutes. The rice should have absorbed all the stock and be separated and tender
- Serve with the Kale, sausage and butter beans.
I have found that if the sausages are slightly frozen they are easier to chop. Freeze the sausage in a single layer on baking paper in a freezer container. Then when required, simply remove from the freezer and cut lengthwise. Leave for a few minutes to thaw and then the casings can be easily removed. Leave for a few minutes more and then cut lengthwise again and then chop into small pieces. This process could be done ahead and the sausages then left in the fridge till ready to begin