Pork, greens and beans make tasty companions as each one complements the others. In this version, salty ham flavors the earthy kale as starchy limas work backup. The combo is good alone and better with a fried egg on top. It would also make a great Thanksgiving side dish, or a day-after meal using leftover ham. For a refreshing match, you’ll want a wine that cuts through the fat and salt of the dish.
Recipe by JeanMarie Brownson
Cook 1 onion, halved, thinly sliced, in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium- high heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 bag cut kale (about 10 ounces); cover. Cook until kale wilts, 4-5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups diced ham; 3 cloves garlic, minced; 1 cup cooked lima beans or peas; and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Cook until hot, 3-4 minutes. Serves 4.
Pairings by sommelier Aaron McManus of Oriole, Chicago
>> 2012 Loimer Langenlois Spiegel Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria: This wine has notes of grapefruit, peach, green apple, white pepper, snow peas, radish and fresh herbs. The snow pea notes will match the lima beans or sweet peas, while the herb and radish flavors will complement the star of the dish, the kale. The wine has enough body to stand up to the fatty ham but is really intended to pair with the vegetables.
>> 2013 Lioco Estero Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Calif.: For a pairing that focuses on the fatty and salty components of the dish, try this chardonnay. It has aromas of baked apple and lemon zest, pineapple and almonds, slight butter undertones and baking spices. The body is rich with a hint of sweetness at the end.
>> 2013 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris, Alsace, France: Candied lemon, apricot, golden apple, yellow flowers, honeysuckle, ginger and bitter almond aromas emerge from this wine, which has medium body, good acidity and a slight bitterness at the end. The higher acid will cut through the richness of the ham, and the bitter quality will match the kale. Plus, the wine’s spice will be a good partner for the hot sauce.