David Tamarkin's Smoky Beans and Greens on Toast
About 30 minutes
Beans and greens are great on almost every carb: in tortillas as tacos, over rice, on flatbread. They’re also good without any carb at all, served in a bowl as a side. But whenever skillet-fried toast is an option, I take it.
This is dinner food for me, but it also makes a good brunch with a fried egg on each plate.
4 (1-inch-thick) slices crusty country bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces (about 4 strips) smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bunch or 2 small bunches (about 8 ounces total) lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves torn into medium-size pieces, washed, and shaken dry (there should be a little water still clinging to the leaves)
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups bean broth or water
1. Heat a large, heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium. Brush the bread on both sides with the olive oil. Lay the bread in the skillet and cook, pressing occasionally with a spatula, until crisp and golden brown, about 90 seconds per side. (If your slices are large, you may have to do this in two batches.) Set the bread aside.
2. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until it has browned a little and rendered at least a tablespoon of fat, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it has softened and turned golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, thyme (if using), red pepper flakes, and, if you’re using canned beans, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.
3. Add the slightly wet kale in batches, using tongs to stir the leaves into the onion mixture; wait for one handful of kale to wilt and shrink before adding the next. When the last of the greens has been added, add the beans and broth. Raise the heat and let the beans and greens simmer for a minute or two, just to warm the beans and bring the flavors together. Taste and add more kosher salt if necessary.
4. Serve the greens and beans over the toast in wide, shallow bowls, dusted with a little more smoked paprika.
Excerpted from COOK90 Copyright © 2018 by David Tamarkin, photographs by Chelsea Kyle. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.