Submitted by Christine W. of New Jersey, a grandmother of two "lovely young ladies," this recipe for the classic Italian combination of escarole and white beans isn't just healthy and delicious – it's also a snap to prepare. Plus, you can easily scale the ingredients up for serving a crowd, making it one of the simpler side dishes we’ve run across.
Of course, Christine notes that Escarole and White Beans doesn’t have to be a side dish – it works as a main course, too. "You can eat as is, serve over pasta in a bowl, or add frozen cheese tortellini in the last 10 minutes of cooking," she says.
For variety, try cooking it with spinach, Swiss or rainbow chard (pictured), or other leafy greens.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch escarole, root removed, thoroughly rinsed and dried
3/4 cup to 1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup canned cannellini or similar small white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Gradually add escarole leaves to pan. When finished, using tongs, turn leaves over a few times so oil is evenly distributed. Add chicken broth, beans, tomato sauce, oregano, garlic powder, and cayenne. Toss thoroughly to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until escarole is entirely wilted, about 8 to 12 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
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