I take such pleasure in cooking humble ingredients and elevating them to create a truly special meal. While I was Italy my favorite meals were the peasant dishes. If you put love into preparing simple foods it is easy to build exceptional flavor and really “wow” your taste buds. There is no need to buy fancy, expensive greens because you will cook them down for a while so they will become tender and take on the flavor of the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, etc. Make sure to allow the stew to simmer for a while and use the best Parmesan (I recommend Reggiano or Grana Padano), shiitakes, and olive oil you can find, and you will be amazed!
Cannellini Beans with Kale, Shiitakes, Grape Tomatoes, and Parmesan
1 small or half of a large white or yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced
1 can organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 c baby kale, or torn large kale leaves, or other spicy green
½ c halved grape tomatoes
¼ c dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
1-2 c vegetable broth, warmed
1-2 tbsp sunflower or grapeseed oil
A few ounces shiitake mushrooms caps torn into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¾ c grated good-quality Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Warm, crusty Italian bread for serving
Heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onion, reduce heat to medium and cook until onion is very soft. Add garlic, and cook for a few minutes or until garlic is soft and fragrant. Stir in beans and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Turn up heat, and wine and reduce. Add warm vegetable broth. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in a bit of oil over high heat. Stir greens and sautéed mushrooms into pot with beans. Once greens are wilted stir in parmesan and more salt and pepper if needed. Add more broth if stew looks dry. Ladle into 3 bowls. Drizzle generously with olive oil and serve with bread and white wine.