Finding yourself on the inside of a road closure during what seems like California’s never ending fire season, you look at what is on hand and also what might not last the next power outage. Even without an evacuation order, going out to the store might mean you cannot get back home. This is a make-do recipe inspired by good intentions and the reward of being in control of some small thing.
This one-dish stew started in a small dutch oven and then had to move to my larger Le Creuset. Should have started there to begin with – just make sure it is a heavy pan to help with the development of the fond.
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 bunch Dino kale (Lacinato) roughly chopped
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 cup+ sliced/chopped celery
- 4 chicken garlic sausages (precooked) cut diagonally into 1/2” slices
- 1 package peppered turkey bacon cut roughly into 1/2” slices
- 2 (14.5 oz). cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1-2 kohlrabi or other root veg, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup orzo or other small seed pasta
- dry rubbed sage and *Paravangna herb blend to taste
Sauté celery and kohlrabi in olive oil with lid on pot (5-8 minutes) until just tender, but not too brown. Add sausages and sauté another 5 minutes with lid on, add cannellini beans, turkey bacon and garlic, continue for another 4-5 minutes with lid on. Add tomatoes, including liquid, stock, sage and Paravangna and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 20-30 minutes. Add tomato paste by first thinning with a bit of broth then adding in. Stir in kale and orzo, simmering covered for another 15-20 minutes.
Adjust seasoning and serve with a good crusty bread and nice glass of your best weekday plonk.
Serves two people for 3-4 days
*Paravangna Blend is made by Fuller’s Fine Herbs of Mendocino, a blend of basil, sweet marjoram, garlic and red pepper flakes. They also make the more well known Beaujolais Blend.