This dish requires a bit of forethought, but not that much work, and the result is pure yum. I serve these beans and greens over Italian-seasoned polenta, but you can enjoy them on their own, too. I always make enough to have leftovers, because this dish is just as good (if not better) reheated.
Sprouting beans before cooking them lowers phytic acid levels, makes the beans far more digestible, and also improves their taste.
Sprouted Italian White Beans & Greens
- 1 cup white beans I prefer cannellini but any white bean will do.
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning dried
- 1 3 inch piece of kombu seaweed
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms you could substitute a half cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 cup diced tomatoes I use frozen ones from my garden, but feel free to use whatever you have, and peel and dice them. Save the peels in the freezer for broth.
- 1 tsp lemon zest from an organic lemon
- 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
- 6-8 cups kale or spinach lightly chopped. If using kale, remove all the hard stems.
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or asiago cheese optional
- sprinkle aleppo pepper optional
- sprinkle black pepper optional
- Start this recipe at least a day before you plan to make it. To begin, soak the cup of dried beans in 3-4 cups of filtered water for 8-12 hours (I usually soak them overnight). Then drain off the soaking water, rinse and drain, and leave on the counter. You can use a colander to drain the beans, but I find it easier to use a quart canning jar with a cover like this. Rinse and drain the beans every few hours until you start to see a little tail forming on the beans. This means they are starting to sprout, and you can cook them then or refrigerate until you are ready to cook them. They will keep in the fridge like this up to 3 days.
- Put the sprouted beans in a pot and cover with filtered water. Add the garlic, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, and kombu. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the beans are fully cooked. Start checking them after 15 minutes, because sprouted beans tend to cook much faster than non-sprouted ones. Note how lovely they smell while cooking!
- Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, and add the onions. Cook until softened, and then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and become limp. Add the tomatoes, lemon zest, and salt. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
- When the beans are cooked, strain off the cooking liquid (but save it for later use) and add the beans to the cooked vegetables. Put the greens in the pan, give it a quick stir, and cover, allowing it to cook until the greens wilt. If using kale, let it cook for an extra couple of minutes so the kale softens a bit more.
- To serve, put in bowls and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over each dish, then a teaspoon of lemon juice. Optional: sprinkle with freshly grated cheese, black pepper, and aleppo pepper.
This is an adaptation of a recipe by Rebecca Katz – you can find the original here.
Have you sprouted beans before cooking them? If so, let me know about your experience in the comments!