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Stove Top Garlicky Beans with Kale and Parmesan

Difficulty Easy
Stove Top Garlicky Beans with Kale and Parmesan

Stove Top Garlicky Beans with Kale and Parmesan

Recipe by thesal28_wpCourse: SIDES



Beans beans are good for your heart…come on, sing it with me! Lol. Gas jokes aside, I truly love beans and believe they are good for your heart, body, and soul! I never get tired of the drama of soaking beans, then cooking them on the stove. There is something about babysitting a “cauldron” of beans that makes me feel like I am channeling my mediveal ancestors, whoever they were.

Beans have all the good stuff, like fiber and protein, and when cooked with love are rare delicacies. They aren’t hard to make, but require a little babysitting the first couple times you make them because you want to make sure they cook at a simmer, and every cooktop has its own quirks that you must understand in order to achieve this.

I use Great Northern Beans in this recipe which are light in color and have a lovely texture. If you cannot find them, you could use Cannelini beans, which are sometimes sold as White Kidney Beans. Truthfully, my bean cooking method works for all beans, so please do experiment!

The final touch to this recipe is stirring in some kale (or other favorite leafy green) and making it rain Parmesan cheese on top of the beans before serving. I recommend crusty bread or croutons and some chili flakes or jarred Calabrian chilis stirred in as well, but enjoy them however you like!


  • 1 lb. dried Great Northern Beans

  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, stems removed, and coarsely chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2-3 tsp Kosher salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Extra Virgin olive oil

  • red pepper flakes or Calabrian chilis, for garnish (optional)


  • Sort through beans, removing any debris, discolored, or shriveled beans. Rinse beans, put in large bowl, fill with enough water to cover beans by 4-5 inches, and soak overnight. Alternatively, use the quick soak method by boiling water in a kettle (or on stove), then pouring over beans in a pot or heat safe receptacle. Cover beans with 4-5 inches of water, then allow beans to soak for 1 hour.
  • Drain beans, then place in a 4 quart pot. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches. Add garlic cloves and bay leaf. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim any foam that has risen to the top. Cover pot about halfway with lid to allow some water to evaporate. You want beans to have about 1 inch of liquid covering them at all times while cooking. When beans are softened, but not completely done (about 60-90 minutes into cooking- this depends on how long they soaked), add 2 tsp Kosher salt (use 1 tsp if using table salt). Cook beans for a total of 2-2 1/2 hours (for intact beans), or up to 3 hours (if you like your beans a bit more broken down).
  • Remove bay leaf, and stir in kale. Cover pot to allow kale to wilt (this should only take a few minutes). Stir to incorporate kale and season with Kosher salt to taste. Finish with a few glugs of olive oil and several cranks of black pepper. Distribute among bowls, then top with your desired amount of cheese, red pepper flakes, and croutons (sometimes I crush them to resemble bread crumbs).

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