Moro Beans with Lacinato Kale and Shiitake Mushrooms

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup Moro beans

Water

2 slices bacon, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 bay leaves

Sea salt to taste


6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms

Water

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 red Serrano chilies, minced

6 large leaves lacinato kale, chopped

Sea salt to taste


Directions

Pick through beans and remove any debris. Rinse well, then place in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for several hours.


Sauté the bacon just enough to render the fat, then add the onions and garlic. The goal is for them to soften and become opaque, not brown.


Add bay leaves, the beans and the soaking water. Add more water if necessary so that it is about two inches higher than the beans. Bring to the boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to as low a simmer as possible and partially cover the pot to allow for evaporation. Cook until the beans are al dente. If necessary add more boiling water (to keep the temperature up). Remove and discard the bay leaves.


At this point they are ready to enjoy. However you can add additional ingredients to create more flavor and even turn the mixture into a hearty soup.


Soak the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of water until they are soft. Remove the mushrooms and set aside the liquid. Slice the mushrooms.


Heat olive oil in a skillet and add minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant then add the chilies and sauté another minute. Add the sliced mushrooms, spread them into a single layer and let them slightly brown. Turn them and repeat. Add the kale and sauté until slightly wilted.


Place the prepared beans and any bean liquid in a pot with the sautéed vegetables. Add the mushroom liquid. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover. Simmer for an hour, adding a little water if necessary. Add sea salt to taste and serve. It’s even better the next day.

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