I call this dish “global” because it lends itself to a variety of seasonings—choose your favorite! Kale, chard, Brussels sprouts, yellow onion, white beans, and a sprinkling of whole mustard seeds come together quickly and beautifully all in one pot.
1-1/4 cup water
1 yellow onion, cut into long pieces along the grain (see photo below)
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon whole yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning blend, or another blend of your choice (see Notes)
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini or navy beans, drained and rinsed (1-1/2 cups)
20 Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
1 bunch curly kale (6-8 large leaves)
1 bunch chard (4-6 large leaves)
1. Heat a large skillet or soup pot on high heat with 1/4 cup of water in the bottom. When the water begins to sizzle and the pan is hot, add the onion and sauté it for 3-5 minutes until the onion softens and its edges begin to turn light brown. Add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to prevent sticking.
2. Add the minced garlic, mustard seeds, seasoning, and beans, and sauté for another minute until all the seasoning is incorporated, adding a little water as needed. Add the Brussels sprouts and greens, and cover the pot. Turn heat to medium, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times during this time and checking that there is a thin layer of liquid in the bottom. (By the end of making this dish, I will have used all 1-1/4 cups of water.)
3. When the Brussels sprouts are tender, stir through a couple times, and the dish is ready to serve. Optional: Top with some pumpkin seeds or pine nuts, whole or grated (with a rotary cheese grater).
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-4 (2 large entree servings or 4 side servings)
Seasoning blends: There are so many fun and tasty seasoning blends out there, I encourage you to try different ones with this dish. I used a Mexican seasoning blend that was made up of chili pepper, onion, paprika, cumin, and oregano. Pretty much any blend will work here, including an “all purpose” blend. But also consider the following blends: Cajun, Carribean, Mediterranean, garam masala, curry, Italian, or a chili Powder blend. For curry, garam masala, or chili powder blends, you may want to start with 1 teaspoon and then taste, as these are spicier than other blends (A quarter to a 1/2 teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes would also make a nice addition for those who like an extra spicy kick.)
If you don’t usually cook with a lot of blends, check out the spice section at your local grocery store, Whole Foods or at any spice shop near you, or online at one of my favorite organic herb/spice shops, Mountain Rose Herbs. Be sure to look for “salt-free” blends.
Greens: I used curly kale and chard, but you may also use other greens, such as beet or collard greens, or Russian or dinosaur kale (see photo directly below). I usually trim off the thickest part of the stems and discard them, but you can eat them, they just need to be cooked a little longer than the leaves (wash and dice the stems and add them in with the onions so that they soften).
Below: Some commonly used cooking greens. For this recipe I used the curly kale and chard, but feel free to mix it up.
Below: Mustard seeds come from the mustard plant, a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts. They range in color from black to yellow, with black being the most pungent and yellow the mildest (used in the “yellow” mustard found at the grocery store). Yellow seeds that are darker in color are slightly more pungent and are used in Dijon mustard. Mustard seeds are often ground or used whole in pickling, canning, BBQ sauces and marinades. But they can also be used whole in recipes such as this one, as they are (mild in flavor) or roasted briefly in a skillet first to bring out their flavor. In either case, they add a fun texture.
Below: How to cut an onion along its grain: Cut off both ends, remove any papery layers, and cut along the grain lines to get curved chunks (then break apart the chunks into long, individual pieces).
Below: Using a rotary cheese grater, you can add a dusting of pumpkin seeds or pine nuts for a little richness.
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