Along with cannellini beans, this recipe called for escarole, but the only stout greens at my market were collard greens, beet greens, chard, different types of kale, and mature spinach. I chose spinach. Also, I had white tepary beans from a prior trip to the Southwest which I simmered for about four hours until they were tender using them instead of canned beans.
Canned beans are really handy but I am trying to make the transition to mostly cooking with dried beans. Like many prepared foods, canned beans are laden with salt unless you look for the no salt added variety. A typical 15 ounce can of beans has about 1500 mg of salt. A teaspoon of kosher salt is only 1120 mg in comparison. My wife and I gave each other the gift of a Colombian black clay cooking pot. Look for all kinds of bean recipes in the future.
If you have already cooked beans or use canned beans, this recipe takes than 30 minutes and is totally worth the effort. A great accompaniment is toasted baguette slices rubbed with garlic and drizzled with a little olive oil.
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- ¾ pound Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes. Leave these out if you use a really hot sausage.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dried white beans, cooked or two 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (each ¼ cup of dried beans swells up to make one serving)
- 2 bunches mature spinach, big stems removing, washed and drained. A colleague washes his spinach by filling his sink with water and letting all the mud sink to the bottom. I just used a salad spinner with the colander inside.
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Red wine vinegar, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about five minutes. Add the chili flakes and the sausage. Cook the sausage until it begins to brown breaking it up into small pieces. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute then add the beans. Add the spinach in batches stirring it in until it wilts and makes room for more.
When all the spinach is in, add the broth, cover and cook until the beans are heated through and any type of greens you used are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Season to taste with a few splashes of red wine vinegar, a little salt, and pepper. Serve warm in bowls with the garlic toasts. Be prepared for sounds of approval.
Nutrition information (per serving)
- Calories: 392
- Fat: 12 gm
- Saturated fat: 2 gm
- Trans fat: 0 gm
- Cholesterol: 63 mg
- Carbohydrate: 41 gm
- Fiber:12 gm
- Sodium: 660 mg
- Protein: 34 gm