With the recipes I’ve been putting up this year, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were reading ‘The Cake and Kale’ blog. But fear not, kale is not the star of the show in this dish and just acts as a humble backing dancer in this Tuscan stew.
Clearly, there’s been a lot of cake in my life recently so in my mission to give myself a nice little nutrient boost, I turned to my Hemsley and Hemsley cookbook. Now I actually tried a Ribollita recipe last year for the blog, but never ended up posting it because I found the fennel flavour way too overwhelming. Here, the balance of flavours seems to be pretty spot on. As with any meal that’s heavy on the veg, it can feel like there’s a lot of chopping involved and that can be off-putting. What’s great about this is that because every stage of the meal requires a nice little gap of 7-8 minutes, you can do all your chopping on the go and it makes it feel like it’s ready in no time. I recommend using a big batch of fresh tomatoes instead of tinned. You’ll find that if you go for the budget option in supermarkets, they often sell them in bulk at a really cheap price and you can just chuck them all in.
This is a good mid-week meal and as it serves 4, it is a great one to make a big freezer batch of as well if you don’t cook for that many. I’ve served them up in a bowl I handpainted, my latest craft hobby! While super healthy and packed with nutrients, this humble stew really does need the twang of the Parmesan to bring the flavours to life! But given that just 3 tbsp of kale counts as one of your 5-a-day, we can allow ourselves that little treat, right? 😉
- 2x tins of cannellini beans (drained weight of around 500g), drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp butter/ oil of your choice
- 2 large onions, roughly chopped
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (adjust to your spice tolerance level!)
- 800ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 8 tomatoes (or 1 tin of tinned tomatoes)
- 200g kale or cavolo nero
- grated parmesan, to serve (optional)
- parmesan rind to flavour the broth (optional)
- 5 tbsp olive oil, to serve (optional)
- juice of 1 lemon, to serve (optional)
How to make it…
- Gently fry the onion, celery and bayleaf in the oil using a large saucepan with a lid for around 7-8 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic, carrots, oregano, basil, fennel seefs, stock and parmesan rind (if using). Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for another 7-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if you’re using fresh tomatoes put all of these in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. After this, you should be able to easily peel off their skins. Roughly chop the skinless tomatoes and add them to the stew with the cannellini beans, leaving to simmer for a further 7-8 minutes.
- Next, add the kale. Season to taste and cook for a further 7-8 minutes. Mix together the lemon juice and oil to make a lemon oil.
- Remove the parmesan rind and bay leaf if you’re using these. Serve in bowls with the Parmesan cheese scattered and the lemon oil drizzled over the top.
- Buon Appetito!
From Hemsley and Hemsley’s ‘The Art of Eating Well’, ‘Ribollita with Parsley and Lemon Oil’ Page 61.