Beans and Greens

I was trying to decide whether to make you black sticky rice pudding with coconut milk or chocolate cookies tonight.  But J, scrolling back through my recent posts, said that I haven’t been feeding you enough protein.  (That’s a dad talking, there.  Fair enough, though, since yesterday’s “recipe” was for ice cubes.)

Thank J, then, for this heartier fare.  We’ve been making this dish for more than a decade and it is always satisfying.  It’s a quick dinner and our regular answer to the question “how am I going to cook down of some of these greens to make more room in the fridge?”

The core ingredients are, as you may have cleverly deduced, beans (white ones) and greens.  The spare supporting cast includes a small onion, garlic, chile flakes, white wine and rosemary.  These bit players can be swapped or omitted depending on availability.  I most recently made this dish with lacinato kale, but any kind of hearty green will work.  I have been known to combine kale, chard, beet greens and radish tops when the fridge is full to bursting.

I like to serve a big bowl of these greens alongside a grainy slice of grilled or toasted bread, preferably spread with a Cypress Grove goat cheese. Now that’s a proper meal.Beans and Greens: First, wash and evaluate your greens.  If the greens are tough, like collard greens or old curly kale, you may want to simmer the leaves in salted water for about five minutes before draining and chopping them.  If they are fairly soft, like chard or beet greens or lacinato kale, just chop them without cooking them first.

Finely dice a small onion and saute it in olive oil with a minced clove of garlic, the minced leaves from a big sprig of rosemary, and a few shakes of red pepper flakes.   Cook until onion is soft, then add 1/2 c. white wine and cook down until thick and syrupy.  Add lots of chopped greens and a few cups of cooked white beans (with the cooking liquid if you cooked the beans yourself; otherwise drain and rinse canned beans and add a little water if you want the mixture soupier).  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and the liquid in the pan has reduced to a saucy consistency.  Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

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25 thoughts on “Beans and Greens

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Yum! If you have a lot of broccoli, I really liked that broccoli pesto I made the other day. And when I have a lot of something, I always love to puree it–it makes it so much smaller. :)

      Reply
  1. Erin

    Thanks for sharing your method. We have beans at least once a week, either beans and greens or “frijoles con todos” with variable “todos.” The rosemary and white wine are a nice touch which I will try soon.

    Really enjoying your blog, Emily!

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      Thanks, Erin! I’m glad you’re enjoying it–I am too. I hadn’t written anything for so long, and the last things I wrote regularly were legal briefs, so this topic is a bit juicier. :) What are the “todos” with your frijoles? I always want to hear about other people’s good ideas!

      Reply
  2. Amy

    Perfect and exactly what will be for dinner since today is CSA day, cold and rainy and I’ve got beans cooking in the slow cooker.
    BUT can we have the sticky black rice pudding tomorrow, pretty please! Have a big bag of black rice and am looking to do something with it.

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      I will post that recipe soon. If you want to make it now, though, it’s just what you’d imagine: black rice, which you can cook right in coconut milk (but this time I made mine with water and then added coconut cream), sugar, a pinch of salt, and some good ripe mango if you’re lucky,. :)

      Reply
  3. Somer

    Yay, this came up last night while I was taking a break from feverishly scrubbing my dryer and there wasn’t ANY content. Mmmm. I need this for dinner tonight!

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      Oops, I think I hit publish by accident right after typing the title. Sorry I didn’t have something more entertaining for you during your dryer-scrubbing break–and sorry you were scrubbing crayon out of your dryer! That lemon oil tip is a good one, though. :)

      Reply
      1. emmycooks Post author

        Ok, I’m totally laughing after reading the first few of the 880 reviews. And I’m forcing myself to walk away now so I don’t waste the entire rest of my day. :)

      2. baconbiscuit212

        I know!

        I hope that the person on a restricted sodium diet was able to find a substitution. And I agree with the commenter who pointed out that the recipe was a little vague.

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Raw beans do seem difficult. I’m loving what you’re doing this month, though! I don’t think I can give up cooking but I am definitely inspired to add raw turnips to my salads. :)

      Reply
  4. BarbaraC

    I thought you might like to try this switch–I’ve done it w/ smaller great northerns and big broad beans. “Toast” the cooked/canned beans up first over moderately high heat, even in the same pan as cooking onions and garlic, just flipping them once when they get golden brown. It adds a (thin) crispy edge and a nutty texture and taste. My honey was always hu-hum about this classic dish until I found that tip on another blog, somewhere :)

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      That sounds great! I have seen a recipe that does that with huge white beans but I’ve never tried it. It sounds wonderful from your description–a crispy edge and creamy bean interior, yum. Thank you for the suggestion!

      Reply

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