Braised White Beans and Greens With Parmesan
Inspired by the Italian dish of sautéed puntarelle (an Italian variety of chicory) and white beans, this recipe makes a satisfying vegetarian main course or a hearty side dish for roast chicken or sausages. It opts for canned white beans, for the sake of weeknight convenience, and Swiss chard, which is much milder than puntarelle and easier to find in the U.S. Kale or escarole would also work well, if that’s what you’ve got. On that note, grated Pecorino Romano cheese gives the broth a more pungent element, but Parmesan will work in its place. Serve in shallow bowls with toasted country bread to mop up the garlicky broth.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¼cup olive oil
- 1small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and small-diced
- 1small yellow onion, small-diced
- 2teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or thyme
- 5garlic cloves, minced
- ¼teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 1large or 2 small bunches escarole, kale or Swiss chard, stems removed (10 to 12 ounces)
- 2(15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed
- 2cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1tablespoon lemon juice
- ½cup shredded mozzarella (optional)
- 3tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, plus more for serving
- Toasted country bread, for serving
Step 1In a 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the fennel, onion and rosemary, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 2Begin adding handfuls of the greens, cooking and stirring until leaves wilt.
Step 3Add the white beans, broth and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, mashing some of the beans with a wooden spoon, until the liquid has reduced and thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Step 4Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, then the mozzarella, if using, and Pecorino Romano. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide among shallow bowls and top with more Pecorino Romano. Serve with toasted bread and a dish of red-pepper flakes on the side.