KALE AND BEAN GRATIN
¾ pound fresh shell beans/cranberry beans, shelled and rinsed, or two 15-ounce cans white or navy beans
½ pound kale
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 ½ tablespoons reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup tamari-roasted almonds, chopped
Salt for seasoning, if needed
1. Boil shelled beans for about 30 minutes, or till tender. Drain the beans, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid and 3 cups beans. If using canned beans, drain, then rinse well.
2. Wash the kale, remove the tough stems. Steam for about 3 minutes until bright green. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, if using canned beans. Coarsely chop the kale and set aside.
3. Saute garlic in olive oil until golden and crispy. Watch carefully not to burn it.
4. Mix together the beans, reserved liquid, chopped kale, cheese, garlic, tamari and black pepper in a bowl. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding salt, if needed.
5. Place the mixture into an oiled 1-quart baking dish, sprinkle with chopped almonds and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes.