Summery Greens and Beans With Toasted Crumbs
This light, plant-based main was inspired by a traditional cassoulet, a French slow-cooked casserole made with beans, pork and duck and simmered in duck fat. In this fast, vegetarian take, olive oil replaces the duck fat and chard stalks are cooked gently with scallion, garlic and thyme to create the flavor foundation. Summer vegetables are simmered in the infused olive oil until just tender, then served with toasted bread crumbs and fresh cracked pepper. The broth in this dish is the real star, so you will want lots of bread to soak it all up.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4large scallions, sliced
- 12ounces Swiss chard (about 1 large bunch), preferably green, stems separated and chopped, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
- 2celery stalks, chopped
- 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3fresh thyme sprigs
- ⅓cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- ½pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2cups frozen (or fresh) lima beans or edamame, thawed if frozen
- ½teaspoon granulated sugar
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓cup dried or fresh bread crumbs
- Crusty bread, for serving
Step 1In a large saucepan, bring scallions, chard stems, celery, garlic, thyme and oil to a simmer over medium heat until oil is gently bubbling and chard stems are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. You want to slowly cook the vegetables and infuse the oil; you may need to adjust the heat to avoid browning the vegetables.
Step 2Add green beans, lima beans, chard leaves, sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 cups water to the cooked vegetables. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until green beans are just tender, about 8 minutes.
Step 3Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high and toast bread crumbs, tossing frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl.
Step 4Divide vegetable mixture among bowls and top with the toasted bread crumbs, a drizzle of olive oil and a grind of black pepper. Serve with crusty bread, for soaking up the broth.