White Bean and Kale Panzanella

 White Bean and Kale Panzanella Salad made with Rancho Gordo Dried Heirloom Royal Corona or Cassoulet Beans

Foodshed Take Away is a restaurant & retail store in Napa offering pizza, pasta, salads and prepared entrees to go, as well a wide selection of craft beers, spirits, and wines. I love it except I tend to get too greedy when I order. But that’s OK—leftovers are always welcome around here.

I was tickled when they offered to a share a recipe with us and even happier to see that it was their panzanella, a dish I’ve ordered many times. Tuscan panzanella is a tomato and bread salad traditionally served during the summer. Once the temperature drops, Foodshed loves to pair the crunch of toasted bread with bright, slightly spicy olive oil, creamy beans and ribbons of kale. It’s a very satisfying dish in the late fall and winter when you’re craving something hearty and nourishing. 

This recipe comes from former sous chef Elena Goldblatt, who says, Rancho Gordo beans manage to remain firm on the outside—keeping their shape and never falling apart while they cook, which is no small feat—while also becoming unbelievably creamy on the inside. I’ve never worked with beans that so consistently have this quality. The beans are meaty and satisfying. The sheer quantity of Rancho Gordo bean varieties is amazing and great to experiment with as a cook.

We like Elena and Foodshed a lot!

  • 2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Royal Corona or Cassoulet beans, drained
  • ½ large bunch of Tuscan kale, leaves stripped from the stems and cut into 1-inch tiles
  • 3 to 4 slices thick-cut crusty Italian bread
  • ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or olio nuovo, plus more for tossing the bread
  • salt to taste

Serves 4 

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Remove the crust if you like, then cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and toss it with some extra virgin olive oil and salt to coat. Bake the bread until it is golden and toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the kale in boiling salted water for 2 or 3 minutes, until it is slightly soft. When the kale has cooled, squeeze out most of the water.
  3. Macerate the red onion in the red wine vinegar for 15 minutes. Gently toss the beans with the red onion (reserve the vinegar), 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt to taste. Add the kale and adjust the seasoning, adding more olive oil, vinegar from the macerating liquid or salt as needed. Fold in the bread and serve immediately (at room temperature).