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Portuguese Kale with Black Beans and Pine nuts aka Migas

I adore this side dish as I crave dark leafy greens sometimes and kale (in this case the green variety not the black which is also known as cavalo nero, which I love as well) is so delicious - it stays springy even when wilted and doesn't leave any grittiness on your teeth the way spinach sometimes can.

I like to serve this with either lemon and chilli pork, or even spicy fish.

Pictured: Portuguese Kale with Black Beans and Pine nuts

½ cup pine nuts
3 tbsp light olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bunch green kale
½ cup fresh (not dried) coarse breadcrumbs – I like to use sourdough or if you can a Portuguese cornbread – I break it up in a blender for a few seconds
cup cooked black turtle beans (my favourite) or more traditional black eyed beans – you can use a tin of beans if short on time. Otherwise soak the dried beans overnight in lots of water, drain and bring a pot of water to the boil (no salt!) and simmer the beans for 30-40 minutes. Drain again. (In Latin America they like to drink the black cooking liquid from turtle beans as a broth or soup).

Strip the leaves off the kale stalks and roughly slice by rolling them and shredding with a sharp knife. Wash and drain.  

Heat a large and deep fry pan to med, add the pine nuts and toast them gently- remove and set aside to cool.

Place the pan back on the heat, add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and once warmed, add the garlic to flavour the oil for a minute without burning the garlic. (I like to tip the pan so the oil is in one large pool with the garlic sizzling away in the middle). Remove the garlic and discard (or dice finely later and add again at the end when serving). While the oil is still hot, add the roughly crumbled bread and fry until golden brown. Set aside the crumbs and rinse the pan quickly.

Place the pan back on the med heat add another tbsps of oil, throw in the kale (it will crackle as the water from the leaves hits the pan but the slight moisture helps wilt and steam the kale). Add the cooked black beans at the same time and stir to combine. I sometimes add a splash of garlic oil at this stage to add more flavour. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Once the leaves are wilted, mix in the pine nuts and spoon the mix into a large serving bowl, sprinkle over the crumbs and serve.

Serves 4 – 6 as a side dish