A riff on a Spanish-style tortilla featuring ribbons of Tuscan kale and replacing the traditional potatoes with heart-healthy cannellini beans.
Five years ago today I said a tearful goodbye to my husband as he walked through the gates of the Vancouver International Airport to board a flight to Minneapolis, then Amsterdam, then Stockholm. I returned to our half-empty apartment – the apartment we had lived in for the last six years – and cried my eyes out as I continued to work on packing boxes. Moving is never easy, but packing your life into a shipping container and moving to an entirely new country, well, that’s something else.
It’s hard to believe that five whole years have gone by since we began our Swedish adventure. When we first moved we figured we’d give it a couple of years and see how it went. Two years went by and we shrugged and renewed our residency permits and then another two years went by and we did it again. Now we’re permanent residents and, as of next month, we’re eligible to apply for Swedish passports. And yet it feels like we’ve hardly even blinked.
In the early days every time I returned from a visit back to Vancouver I’d arrive with a suitcase stuffed to bursting with foodstuff. Now, other than a few choice local delicacies, I bring hardly anything back. (On the contrary, when I travel to Vancouver it’s with a suitcase packed full of Swedish knäckebröd, salty black licorice, and once, even a block of Swedish butter – let me tell you, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve had Swedish butter).
Even just a couple of years ago I’d rejoice at the presence of kale; near impossible to find except for at the fleeting farmer’s market season or at Christmas time. Now my supermarket is stocked with curly kale, purple kale, Tuscan kale, bagged pre-washed kale, and frozen kale all year round. Stockholm is kale-obsessed now, and I take full advantage.
Accordingly, then, I’ve got a kale dish to share with you today. It’s a riff on a Spanish-style tortilla featuring ribbons of Tuscan kale and replacing the traditional potatoes with heart-healthy cannellini beans. It isn’t the most photogenic meal, but I think you’ll find it has other endearing qualities.
I love making tortillas and frittatas because they’re quick and easy, but they’ll also stand up to a few days in the fridge so they’re great for make-ahead meals. They can transition easily between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re good hot, cold, or at room temperature, great on their own or in a supporting role as a side dish. You can stuff a slice between a couple of pieces of bread and call it a sandwich, or fancy it up with a side salad. However you eat it is fine by me, just do, because it’s delicious and it’s mega nutritious.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse! It is extraordinarily rich in micronutrients, dietary fiber, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and cancer fighting glucosinolates. Kale is a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and contains nearly twice the vitamin K (essential for blood clotting and also an important anti-inflammatory agent) than any other cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cabbage, etc). Iron, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and phosphorous are among the complement of vital minerals found in kale. The dietary fiber in kale is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels. One recent study showed that this benefit may be improved by lightly steaming kale for about 5 minutes before consuming.
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch tuscan kale, de-stemmed and sliced into ribbons
- 1 400g can cannellini beans, well rinsed
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- salt and pepper
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt and pepper
- butter, to grease the pan
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high-heat.
- Add the onion, and sauté for several minutes, until it is beginning to become translucent. Add the garlic, and sauté for a couple of minutes more, until the garlic is lightly browned.
- Add the kale ribbons to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes or so, until the kale has wilted.
- Add the beans, and season with thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them together with the parsley and a bit of salt and pepper.
- Add the cooled kale mixture to the eggs and stir to combine.
- Pour the egg mixture into a prepared tart pan. Place in the oven and bake 20-30 minutes. The tortilla should be just browned and the center no longer jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire wrack. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold.