As much as I love white beans in my usual favorite ways — simmered with tomato sauce and herbs over baked polenta, or mashed into an herbed pasta sauce — I was ready to try something new. I found myself wondering if there might be a way to combine them with quinoa… the internet responded with an emphatic yes! I never thought of putting the two together before, but it turned out plenty of other folks had! Funny how we get stuck in certain combinations and patterns sometimes. Thanks to Kaylee of Lemons & Basil for nudging me to broaden my horizons with this tantalizing dish!
Quinoa, White Bean & Kale Salad
2 cups quinoa, ideally cooked in stock
A few tablespoons oil
1 onion, sliced into thin crescents
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cups cooked white beans
1 bunch kale, stems and leaves separated and chopped
A cup or so of tulsi basil leaves, minced
A few sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
A few generous drizzles of balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix quinoa and white beans, stir in a generous drizzle of olive oil to coat. Caramelize onion in oil over low heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, sauté kale stems in a large pan for a minute or two, until they begin to soften, then add garlic and kale leaves and cook just until slightly wilted. Stir into quinoa salad, along with remaining ingredients, adjust seasoning to taste, and enjoy — wonderful still warm, and leftovers were also great right out of the fridge!