For my bridal shower, I got a beauuuuutiful white cast iron dutch oven from my amazing cousin! It’s gooooorgeous! And I could seriously stare at it all day long and be perfectly content soaking in it’s beauty…but I mean, that wouldn’t be very useful to you, would it? So I decided to, you know, actually cook something in it so that I could share the wonder with you! And this White Bean, Kale & Leek Gratin was the PERFECT way to christen the dutch oven and set it up for a lifetime of cooking up delicious and wonderful meals!
Nick has never been a huge fan of kale or beans for that matter. So when I decided I was going to make this dish, I was a little bit worries that he wouldn’t like it. But then I realized, duhhhh, there’s cheese covering the entire dish, of COURSE he’ll love it! And he did! I mean, let’s take a minute and be really honest here. Smothering things with cheese just makes the entire world a better place; wouldn’t you agree?! Yeah, me too. Which is exactly why I knew I was going to turn this little saute of white beans, kale & leeks into a gratin. My other reason was because gratin sounds so much fancier than saute. Yes, that legitimately played a role in that decision, don’t judge me too hard!
For those of you following the 21 Day Fix or Portion Fix eating system, you’ll know that beans are a versatile food that can belong to 2 different container categories! In the regular Fix eating plan, they count as a yellow container since beans have a lot of carbs (mostly fiber!). But they can also count as a red container, or a protein! So how do you decide? Simple, if you are serving this as a side dish with another protein for your meal, count it as a yellow container. If you are using the beans as your source of protein and having a vegetarian dish, count this as a red container and know that the recipe will only make 3 servings instead of 4! Of course, you’re also getting a hearty serving of veggies too between the kale & leeks. It’s going to seem like a TON of veggies as you add it all into the dish, but trust me, kale and leeks both shrink down a lot as they cook, so the end result is that you’re going to only need to count this dish as 1 green container rather than two! Plus, you’ll also want to account for the cheese (1 blue container) and the oil, 1/2 tsp! Simple, right? If you’re not a Fixer, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but seriously if you want to learn more about eating proper portions in order to truly fuel your body the right way, you NEED to check out the 21 Day Fix! The program has completely changed my life for the better and I HIGHLY recommend it! You can even feel free to shoot me a Facebook message and I can give ya all the fun details on it!
But in the meantime, let’s get you the recipe for this White Bean, Kale & Leek Gratin, shall we?!
White Bean, Kale & Leek Gratin
Sauteed white beans, kale and leeks are topped with shredded cheese and baked until melty and delicious! A perfect side dish or vegetarian main course.
- 1 Tbs oil
- 2 cups leeks sliced, washed & dried
- 6 cups kale torn, fibrous stems removed
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups canned white beans drained & rinsed
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Heat a dutch oven or oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. When hot, add in the leeks and saute for 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Season with salt.
Add in the kale leaves and 1/4 cup of the stock. Saute until kale leaves cook down, adding more stock if needed. Season to taste with salt.
Stir in the white beans and remaining stock. Mix all ingredients together and season with red pepper flakes and salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the bean mixture. Cover and cook at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bean mixture is hot.