Stewed Beans and Collard Greens

Beans are the backbone of comforting meals you can throw together in a flash. So, today, we’re happy to continue our month of vegetarian dinners with a simple stewed pinto bean recipe from Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping. Here’s how to whip it up…

Stewed Beans and Collard Greens
By Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping

This is one of those recipes that proves the “simple is best” maxim when it comes to cooking. It’s so easy to make, but it gives you a batch of nutrient dense ingredients that you can use in different ways as the week goes on. The secret of this recipe is to allow the onions to get nice and golden – almost caramelized – before adding the garlic and greens, and then to add smoked paprika (collards are often cooked with pork and bacon in traditional preparations, and the paprika helps to evoke some of that flavor). The result is a dish that’s simultaneously smoky, salty and sweet.

Recipe: Stewed Pinto Beans and Collard Greens
Serves 4-6

You’ll need:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt, plus a little extra for cooking the onions
1 cup vegetable broth
1 lb washed and dried collard greens, sliced into ribbons (about 1 large bunch)
3 cups cooked pinto beans (2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed)
Dash crushed red pepper

Tahini drizzle (optional):
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
Black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (ideally with a lid) over medium heat. Add the onion and give it a little pinch of salt. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onion is soft, clear and lightly golden. Add the garlic, paprika and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the collards and broth. Cover the pan and allow the collards to wilt down (you might have to do this in batches). Reduce the heat to medium low, uncover the pan and cook the collards, stirring every so often, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the pinto beans and a dash of red pepper. Season to taste.

If you’d like to make the tahini drizzle, whisk together all of the ingredients while the collards cook.

To serve, divide the greens and beans into bowls and drizzle with the tahini (if using). You can also scoop them onto a bed of cooked whole grains (brown rice is especially nice) or toast.

Stewed Beans and Collard Greens

Thank you so much, Gena!

P.S. More recipes, including easy chickpea salad and goat cheese flatbread.

(Recipe and photos by Gena Hamshaw. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)