Gigante Bean and Kale Salad Recipe
Unlike many items on fast food menus, this kale salad should cause no alarm if super-sized. Kale leaves are massaged and marinated in a delectable white bean vinaigrette. The beans used were very creamy inside, so I mashed a small portion to thicken the texture of the dressing.
These Greek white beans are unusually large (compared to the standard beans) and are aptly called "gigante" beans. They have a toothsome bite, which helped balance the texture of the salad. I also added sun-dried tomatoes for a pop of color. Serve this complete, nutritious salad with garlic toast and you'll have a light, healthy, yet tasty meal.
Yields: 6 servings1½ pounds fresh kale leaves
8 ounces gigante or corona beans, cooked and cooled (see tips)
2 tablespoons store-bought julienned sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons mild honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lime
1 clove pickled garlic, finely minced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons flat parsley, finely chopped
½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
Prepping the kale: Wash the raw kale thoroughly in several baths. Remove and discard any fibrous and older parts of the stems. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Toss well.
For the bean dressing: In a mini blender (or a regular blender if you don't have a mini), combine the mustard, honey, lime juice, half a dozen gigante beans and pickled garlic. Thin the dressing with 2-3 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and briefly pulse 2-3 times.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dressing, gigante beans and sun-dried tomatoes. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Add the kate. Massage and toss well until well coated.
Serve at room temperature.
You can use fresh garlic instead of the pickled garlic but the garlic flavor is going to be a lot stronger. You can find pickled garlic in Asian stores.
Little reminder on how to cook the beans: Make sure the beans have soaked overnight for faster cooking time. Drain them and place in a small pot. Cover with at least 5 inches of water. Add a crushed clove of garlic, a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf and 1 slice of lime. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour until completely softened. Check for doneness by removing 3 beans, let cool enough to handle; all beans should be super soft when gently pressed and crushed between your thumb and index finger. If not, add more water and reduce until completely softened. Once cooked, remove the pot for the heat. Season with salt and let them cool completely. Drain and pat dry, discarding all the herbs and seasonings. Marinate in the bean dressing for at least 20 minutes.Published By: on May 5, 2014.