Sausage, Kale, and Cannellini Bean Stew {recipe} – Made a Point

Sausage, Kale, and Cannellini Bean Stew

It’s official.

You’re committed.

But every once in a while…

You pull back. You withdraw a little. You pull passive-aggressive maneuvers like scary “I just think I might need a little space” silent moments.

You threaten to leave.

Oh, you don’t really want to leave. And you don’t really intend to leave. It’s not like something bad has happened.

But it’s not like something good has happened, either.

And maybe that’s just it. Nothing has happened.

You want attention. You’re insecure. You feel like you’ve lost control. Because you can’t make decisions and you can’t make things happen in the rest of your life.

So you do something, anything, in your relationship.

Because you can.




Early last week, it became Spring, but somehow I wasn’t paying attention. I only realized it, five days in, when Spring decided to take it all back. “Oh yeah? You’re not even going to acknowledge I’m here? Fine then! Then I’m not here! Not anymore! See how you do without me!!!” A wet, windy storm is blowing through LA, pouring big, cold rain over the city as if it were November.

I’m actually quite surprised that I missed the Equinox. The seasons may not be all that significant, may not even exist at all here in LA, but they are pretty important to me. Maybe not the literal seasons themselves, but the subtle transition from one season to the next. It is the only way for me to recognize the passage of time. I guess I was just too busy with work, too involved with settling into the house, too absorbed with…myself.

Spring made her point. I’m definitely paying attention now. It’s only been a day, but I miss Spring. I want Spring back.
Sausage Kale Cannellini Bean Stew

Sausage Kale Cannellini Bean Stew

This is a very uncomplicated recipe for those days when “it’s complicated.” When it’s supposed to be Spring but it feels like winter. When you don’t know if you’re cooking for one or two or yeah, probably just one. When you just want to sit on the couch by the front window in your flannels pajamas at 4 PM and wonder if the world outside is blurring together because the rain is coming down in sheets. Or because you’re crying.

inspired by the hundred of variations on “Greens and Beans” that flicker across my screen every day


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 links mild Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
½ medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves lightly smashed
4-5 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves finely chopped
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or use 2 cans)
salt/pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Crumble sausage into pan and cook through, about 10 minutes. Remove cooked sausage to plate.

Add chopped onions and garlic to oil/fat in pot. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Pour stock into pot. Add chopped carrots, celery, and kale. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until kale is tender.

Add cooked cannellini beans and sausage to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until beans are heated through. Serve with a few slices of garlic-rubbed grilled toasts.

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  • Michael Silverstein

    I wish it were always the kind of weather when this would be a perfect dinner.

    • Sarah J. Gim

      michael: now that you mention that… this is the perfect dinner for a busy spring weeknight (with baby kale), or a lazy summer evening, or a quick work-at-your-desk lunch in the fall, or…

  • Hej

    when do you add back the sausage?

    • Sarah J. Gim

      hej: add the cooked sausage back to the pot when you add the beans! (wow, thanks for catching that!)

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