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Terra Madre 2011

Autumn Ribollita to warm you

It’s time to trade in raw veggie salads for soups and stews! One of the classic Italian combinations is kale and white beans in a vegetable broth, known as ribollita.

There are many variations of ribollita, all of which combine various vegetables, cooked white beans, and stewing greens such as kale, collards and chard with stock, olive oil and toasted crusty bread.

Here we’ve used it as an inspiration for a canapé in celebration of Slow Food Vancouver’s annual Terra Madre event.

Ribollita canape of braised kale and white bean puree

Braised kale:

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • water or vegetable stock for braising

Sweat onion and then garlic in olive oil in a large heavy pot until translucent and fragrant. Add kale, stir to combine and then add enough water to braise the kale at a low temperature until thoroughly cooked. Season with salt as desired.

*Note: you can use collard greens or chard in place of kale as desired.

White bean puree:

  • 1/2 cup dried cannellini or great northern beans
  • water
  • bay leaf
  • fresh sage, thyme and/or rosemary stems
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Soak dried beans overnight in enough water to cover by 2 inches. Drain and discard soaking liquid, place soaked beans in a saucepan and cover with fresh water by 2 inches. Add bay leaf and other fresh herbs as desired. Bring to a boil, skim the surface and simmer gently until beans are soft, approximately 30-40 minutes. Drain beans and remove herbs.

In a heavy pot, sweat shallots in 1/4 cup olive oil on medium heat until translucent – be careful not to colour them. Add the garlic and sweat briefly before adding cooked beans and a good pinch of salt. Cook on very low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Puree the bean mixture in a food processor for several minutes, adding olive oil, juice of one lemon, salt and water to the desired consistency and taste.

Serve bean puree topped with hot braised kale on slices of toasted baguette.

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