Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beans and Greens

Beans and Greens at Their Wurst
Developed from an Internet consensus. Prepared with chard, February 14, 2009; prepared with escarole, February 22, 2009. A Family Favorite.
3 T olive oil, divided
large head escarole, or
large bunch Swiss chard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, sliced thinly
2 (15-1/2 oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, undrained
2 T chopped fresh parsley
In a saucepan, heat a 1 T of olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. When fragrant, stir in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Keep covered off heat. 
To prepare chard, soak and rinse to remove any soil. Drain well. Trim and discard tough ends, cut off stems and slice into half-inch pieces. Slice leaves in half lengthwise and then into 1.5 inch-wide strips crosswise. Escarole: cut head in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1.5 inch-wide strips. While beans are cooking, heat 2 T olive oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Toss in chard stems, turning to coat with oil, and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chard leaf pieces. For escarole, add all at the same time. Season the greens with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until tender (about 5 minutes for escarole, 10 minutes for chard). When tender, stir greens and parsley into beans; simmer about 10 minutes more. Cover, and hold 10 minutes for flavors to mature and to thicken. Drizzle a little olive oil over each serving. 
Pairs nicely with a crisply-fried breaded pork chop, grilled baby-back ribs, or beer-braised sausage. For a vegan or vegetarian meal, substitute a crusty bread (e.g., Tuscan or baguette) or freshly-baked biscuits and butter.  Serves 4 to 6.

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