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Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew with Lemon Gremolata

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Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew with Lemon Gremolata

This comforting Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew is a rich and hearty vegetarian dish that warms up hearts and cooler nights. Serve with crusty bread to mop up every last bit of the stew’s rich-tasting broth.

Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew with Lemon Gremolata // FoodNouveau.com

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Is there such a thing as transitional comfort food? If I had to illustrate comfort food, it would be a hearty bowl of gooey, cheesy carbs enjoyed by the fireside during winter (cacio e pepe comes to mind!) It sure is a cliché, but frankly, I’m happy the cold season provides the excuse to indulge in such delightful meals.

When spring comes around, I’m eager to switch up our menu to include fresher flavors—yet winter makes a slow stage exit in Quebec City, often offering us an April snowstorm as a parting present. This is exactly when the need for “transitional” comfort food comes in: dishes that will warm us up without making us feel like we’ve given up on spring.

This Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew fit into that category perfectly. Inspired by risotto, the dish is vegetarian, carb-free, yet hearty, thanks to the use of good-for-you cannellini beans. You’ll prepare this stew much like you would a risotto: by first frying shallots and garlic in oil, then evaporating white wine for flavor, adding kale instead of rice, then simmering it all with white beans and vegetable stock—no continuous stirring required!

Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew with Lemon Gremolata // FoodNouveau.com

The genius step comes at the end when you use a masher or a fork to mash about half of the cannellini beans straight into the pan. The beans will thicken the stew and give it a rich texture. Stirring in Parmigiano Reggiano adds delightful depth, and the sprinkling of lemon gremolata makes it super fresh and bright. If you want to keep this Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew vegan, skip the parmesan cheese and sprinkle with nutritional yeast before serving, instead.

This Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew is perfect for those in-between periods in the spring or fall, or for cooler summer nights that justify turning on the stove. Serve with fresh, crusty bread to mop up every last bit of the stew’s rich-tasting broth.

Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew with Lemon Gremolata // FoodNouveau.com

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Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew with Lemon Gremolata // FoodNouveau.com

Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew with Lemon Gremolata

This comforting stew is a rich and hearty vegetarian dish that warms up hearts and cooler nights. Serve with crusty bread to mop up every last bit of the stew’s rich-tasting broth.
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:25 mins
Total Time:40 mins
Servings 4 servings
Author Marie Asselin, FoodNouveau.com

Ingredients

For the Cannellini Bean and Kale Stew

For the Gremolata

  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed clean
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp fleur de sel, or flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • For the cannellini bean and kale stew: Open one of the cans of cannellini beans and empty into a colander. Rinse under cold running water, then transfer to a large bowl. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the beans to create a rough puree. (This puree will help thicken the stew.)
  • Open the second can of cannellini beans, rinse under cold running water, then transfer to the bowl with the mashed beans. Do not mash these additional beans. Set aside.
  • In a large saute pan or braiser set over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and celery and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add half of the kale and cook, stirring until it wilts and loses its volume, about 3 minutes, then add the rest of the kale. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes more.
  • Add the cannellini beans, broth, salt, and some freshly ground black pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to the minimum, half-cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and lemon zest and juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • For the gremolata: On a cutting board, coarsely chop the parsley. Using a Microplane or a zester, zest the lemon over the parsley, then add the chopped garlic. Sprinkle with the salt, and keep chopping, scraping the board from time to time to mix everything together and chop the parsley to a fine texture. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • SERVING: Divide the piping hot stew between serving bowls, and generously sprinkle each portion with gremolata. Serve with crusty bread.
  • STORAGE: This stew reheats very well, though be aware that the color of the kale will fade a bit after the stew cools and is refrigerated. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can store the gremolata in a separate container for the same period of time.
  • MAKE IT VEGAN & DAIRY-FREE: Replace the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese used in the recipe by ¼ cup (60 ml) nutritional yeast.

Did you make this?

Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.

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Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins

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