(Serves 6 people)

  • 1 lb dried Great Northern Beans
  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, stems removed, and coarsely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tsp Kosher salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes, for garnish
  • croutons (optional), for garnish

Sort through beans, removing any debris, discolored, or shriveled beans. Rinse beans, put in large bowl, and fill with enough water to cover beans by 4-5 inches. Soak overnight. Drain beans, and place in a 4 quart pot. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 1-2 inches. Add garlic cloves and bay leaves. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim any foam that has risen to the top. Cover pot about 1/2 way with lid to allow some water to evaporate. When beans are softened, but not completely done (about 90 minutes into cooking), 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 4 hours (if you like your beans smooth and broken down). Remove bay leaves, 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. Top with cheese, red pepper flakes, and crushed croutons (optional, but highly recommended).