6:50 Commuter train pulls into northern New York suburb.
7:00 Two parents drive home, walk into house, shout “hellooooooo?” Wonder where kids are.
7:01 Reminisce briefly about the days when kids were at home waiting for them.
7:02 Reminisce briefly about the days when the kids, not the puppies, jumped on mom or dad when they came home from work.
7:03 Reminisce briefly about the days when one kid ate nothing but pasta and pizza.
7:10 Dance same old dance: What do you want to eat? What are you in the mood for? I don’t know should we go out? Sure. Where? I don’t know. Are the kids even eating with us? Let’s just cook in. In case we have to pick them up. OK so what do you want to cook? I don’t know what do you want to cook. Do we have anything?
7:12 Looks in fridge, spies a bunch of kale and enough prosecco for two Aperol spritzes. Looks in pantry, spies a few cans of Great Northern white beans.
7:15 Mix up spritzes; Pretend they are still on vacation.
7:30 Sauté garlic, onion, red pepper flakes in olive oil. Adds beans, kale, herbs. Then, off heat, lemon, parm. Thinks about tossing with pasta, instead toasts some frozen baguette slices from the freezer.
White Beans & Kale
The recipe as written makes four side dish servings. If you stretch out with a half pound of pasta, or a few baguette toasts, it serves four as a main. If it’s late August, an ear of buttery salty corn alongside of this would not be a bad thing.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved
¼ cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
6 ounces (about 5-6 cups) chopped kale, washed and destemmed (curly or Tuscan)
2 14-ounce cans white beans (such as cannellini or Great Northern), rinsed, drained and dried as much as possible
1 tablespoon butter
Fresh thyme or chives
Juice from half a small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat then place garlic halves cut side down, swirling them to infuse the oil. Remove after about a minute, once garlic becomes fragrant. Add onion, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cook until onion is slightly wilted. Add kale and cook another 2-3 minutes until greens shrink. Add beans, remaining olive oil, and butter, tossing until beans are warmed through and butter has melted.
Place beans and kale in a serving bowl, and toss with lemon juice and Parm. If serving on toasts, smash them a little in the bowl so they don’t spill off the bread.
How to make an Aperol Spritz, from the back of the Aperol bottle: 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, 1 splash soda. View of Taormina beach not included.