Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens
(recipe, Heidi Swanson)
Plan ahead for this recipe, as you need to soak the uncooked beans overnight. (I've tried this recipe with canned beans, but I always ended up with a mushy pot of bean mash. The freshly cooked dried beans maintain their structure much better during sautéing.) Giant corona beans, cellini beans, or white cannellini beans are the best choice here.
- ½ lb. medium or large dried white beans, cooked
- 3 Tbsp. clarified butter or olive oil
- Fine-grained sea salt
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 to 7 big leaves of chard, preferably rainbow chard, leaves cut into wide ribbons and 1 or 2 stems cut into ½-inch pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Drain the beans, then heat the butter or oil over medium-high heat in the widest skillet you've got. Add the beans to the hot pan in a single layer. (If you don't have a big-enough skillet, just do the sauté step in two batches, or save the extra beans for another use.) Stir to coat the beans with the butter or oil, then let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.
- Add salt to taste, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the onion softens. Stir in the chard and cook until just beginning to wilt. Remove from the heat and season to taste with a generous dose of salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of top-quality extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.