Greens and beans is a classic Italian dish that is quick to make and full of vitamins and protein. Escarole, which tastes slightly more bitter than spinach, is a different ingredient to add into your leafy green vegetable rotation.
I like this recipe because it can be easily adapted to work with a vegan or lacto-vegetarian diet, and you can also add it to pasta, which is very filling.
This recipe serves 3-4, cooks in less than 20 minutes and can easily be doubled for a larger crowd.
1 head of escarole, washed, drained and roughly chopped
1 can of cannellini beans or 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3-5 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 cup water with 1 teaspoon of pareve Osem consommé mix
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Optional: ½ pound (half a box) of small pasta like farfalle or rotini cooked according to package and drained
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Chef’s note: If you’re going to make this with pasta, start cooking the pasta first so it is ready to mix in as soon as the greens and beans are finished.
Place a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil to warm, then add in the beans or chickpeas a minute later.
Sauté, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes before stirring in the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes.
Stir and cook for 1 more minute before adding in the escarole, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Raise the heat to medium and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the escarole is wilted.
Add the consommé, water and salt and allow to cook until the liquid reduces, another 4-5 minutes.
You can serve this immediately, or if you wish to add it to the pasta, stir in pasta and add another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired, but it’s a wonderful dish if you wish to make it vegan. Enjoy and bless your hands! PJC
Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.