I’m finally starting to recover from my annual sinus infection, which usually takes me out for a solid week. This year seemed especially bad, but now that I’m feeling better I’m back to cooking for more than just basic sustenance (or letting Jon feed us!). This dish was loosely inspired by a recipe in Mollie Katzen’s The Heart of the Plate, but with a fair amount of improvisation.
I started off by cooking some farro using a similar method to risotto. After sautéing some onion in olive oil, and toasting the farro, I gradually added homemade vegetable stock until the farro was cooked but still chewy.
While the farro was cooking, I started off by sautéing onions, celery, and carrots. Once these were soft and flavorful, I added several of my favorite herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, and sage), along with some red pepper flakes, which are truly a staple in my kitchen. Next I built up the sauce by adding some vegetable stock and white wine vinegar.
The veggies cooked for a few minutes, and then I was ready to add the white beans. Fortunately, I had previously cooked some white navy beans, so I had plenty of fresh beans available for this dish. Yum!
White Beans with Kale and Cabbage over Farro
2 cups uncooked farro
2 onions, finely diced
6 cups veggie stock, heated
5 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 bunch lacinto kale, removed from ribs and torn into bite size pieces
1/3 head green cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano, basil, sage, and thyme
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked navy beans
Start the farro by heating 3 Tbsp olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 1 of the onions and sauté until slightly softened. Add a small amount of salt, then add the farro. Sauté the farro for a few minutes, then add about 2 cups of the veggie stock. Cover, and add veggie stock as it is absorbed until the farro is plumped up but still chewy. I needed about 4 cups of stock and it took about 25 minutes to cook. You could also use similar grains such as whole wheat berries.
While the farro is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, and sauté until softened. Next add the celery and carrot along with some sea salt. Cover and allow to sauté until the veggies are quite soft and slightly browned. You may need to add small amounts of veggie stock to the pan to keep the veggies from sticking.
Once the veggies are quite soft, add the garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes. Next, add about 1 cup of veggie stock, the white wine vinegar, and the sun dried tomatoes. Reduce heat slightly and cover to allow the sun dried tomatoes to soften in the sauce.
Once the sun dried tomatoes are plumped up and soft, add the cabbage and kale, stirring well to combine. You’ll probably want to add a little more sea salt at this point. Cover the pan, and allow the kale and cabbage to cook slightly in the sauce. You want the kale to be cooked, but still somewhat crisp.
Finally, add the white beans and stir gently to combine. Cover and allow the beans to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes until they are heated through. Before serving, taste the bean mixture and adjust salt and add a little more white wine vinegar if you want the sauce to be a little sharper.
To serve, place the farro in an individual soup bowl, and top with the bean mixture.