I’ve been trying to get more beans and greens into my diet. How about you? Together, dark leafy greens and dried beans offer a nearly perfect and very economic combination of fiber, protein, iron, complex carbohydrates, and antioxidants. Tonight I decided to use kale and cannellini beans, and for an added boost of protein and omega-3’s, I added some beautiful seared salmon. The buttery, creamy salmon and bright smoky kale, with some bacon and seasonal Vidalia onions were perfect with the soft and luscious white beans. The whole dinner came together in under 30 minutes and was a perfect Sunday meal, paired with a slightly buttery, well-oaked Chardonnay and finished with some berries with black pepper and aged balsamic vinegar and some good quality vanilla bean ice cream. If you wanted to make this a more hearty meal, add some polenta, or cornbread on the side. Here’s how I made this dish, but you could use any dark leafy greens you have available, legumes of your choice, and you could choose to use salmon, or add some sausage to this dish and toss it with pasta as an alternative. If you want to go meatless, just omit the salmon and bacon altogether and add some mushrooms to give the dish depth. If you went that route, I’d toss it with some whole wheat penne and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
4 (5 oz.) salmon fillets
3 tbsp Olive Oil
6 pieces bacon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small or ½ large Vidalia onion, diced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
6-8 cups kale, stemmed and rough chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¾ cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp sugar (sugar in the raw preferred)
2 Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Heat olive oil in medium sized sauté pan. Season Salmon with salt and pepper, and place in the heated oil, with the skin side up. Sear for 2-3 minutes. Season skin side with more salt and pepper and flip over, searing for 2-3 minutes more on the skin side. Remove from heat and set aside. In another large saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool, and saute the garlic, onions and crushed red peppers in the bacon drippings. Saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft and the garlic is quite fragrant. Add the chopped kale and sauté until soft and reduced to about ½ volume. Add the broth to the greens and cover, simmering on low heat for about 7 minutes. Add the drained and rinsed beans and simmer for about 3 more minutes. Meanwhile, place the salmon, in its original sauté pan in the 400 degree oven and finish for about 7 minutes. Remove salmon from the oven when done, and set aside. Check the greens to be sure they are cooked to your pleasing. Season with salt and pepper. Add the juice and zest of 1 lemon, the crumbled bacon, the sugar and one tbsp. of the balsamic vinegar. Serve a plate of the beans and greens with one of the salmon filets on top. Drizzle the remaining balsamic vinegar over the salmon. Enjoy! This is an economical, healthy and relatively quick meal that’s perfect for a family dinner, but also unique and delicious for a special occasion. Have fun and enjoy!