This is one of those meals that falls under the heading of vegetarian...plus bacon. I can't help myself sometimes. I love vegetarian food, but when I was putting this dish together in my head, it was just screaming for some bacon. So this is what I came up with. We squeezed lemon over our dishes right before serving, and it really brightened the dish up. This is a great way to use up leafy greens, and the topping ads lots of nice crunch. Dino and I ate this as a main course, and almost finished off the whole batch, but it would be great as a side dish, too.
Kale and White Beans with Crunchy Bacon Panko Topping
4 slices center cut bacon, sliced into lardons
large shallot, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 large bunch kale, roughly chopped
large can (1 lb 13 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
½ c panko
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
lemon wedges, for serving
In a large skillet, brown bacon until crispy. Remove from pan onto a small plate lined with a paper towel. Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes to the bacon fat and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the kale, stirring, and cook, covered, until wilted down, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and cover until heated through.
Meanwhile, Heat oil in a small skillet. Add panko, salt and pepper and toast, stirring occasionally, until browned. Put in a bowl and mix in lemon zest and parsley.
To serve, top kale mixture with bacon and panko mixture, squeeze generously with lemon. Enjoy!
Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars