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Cannellini Beans with Wilted Bitter Greens

Beans and greens in any form are staples of Italian cuisine. And it's one of the many things I love about my ancestry. In this version, we combine, sensually creamy cannellini beans with a bit of hot spice and delicately bitter broccoli rabe. Add a slice of crusty bread and you have a fabulous meal. 


1-inch piece kombu or 1 bay leaf
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, left whole
1/2 cup dried cannellini beans, rinsed well, soaked for 1 hour
1 cup spring or filtered water
extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, thin slices
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
generous pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt
small bunch broccoli rabe, rinsed well, cut into small pieces
3-4 lemon wedges

Place kombu or bay leaf in a small pot with garlic and drained beans. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, uncovered. Boil for about 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook beans until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain away any remaining liquid and remove kombu/bay leaf and garlic.

Place a small amount of oil in a deep skillet with garlic and onion, over medium heat. When vegetables begin to sizzle, add red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute. Stir in broccoli rabe, season lightly with salt and saute until limp and deeply green, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and gently stir in cooked beans until just combined. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with lemon wedges on the side. 

Makes 3-5 servings.  


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