Cannellini beans with greens recipe

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Simple, elegant, and earthy, this classic Italian combination is warming and strengthening. It’s easy to make, loaded with nutrients, and the greens add freshness and balance. Take your time simmering the beans so they cook to perfect al dente tenderness.

  • Yield: 3 to 4 Servings


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 red onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Sea salt
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into small dice
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup cannellini beans, rinsed well (you can also use navy beans or any other white bean)
  • 2 cups spring or filtered water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch escarole, broccoli rabe, or kale, rinsed very well, hand shredded into bite-size pieces
How to Make It
  1. In a deep skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil, onion, and garlic. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the celery and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the carrot and another pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the bell pepper and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Add the beans, water, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add a final pinch of salt. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the beans are soft and all the water has been absorbed, about an hour. Remove the bay leaf.
  2. Season with salt to your taste, but keep it light; stir in the greens and cook, covered, until they are tender and wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir well to combine and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with a drizzle of fruity olive oil.

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