3 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Head escarole and 1 bunch of Swiss Chard ( or fresh spinach)
1 14 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Slices of rustic bread
Bring an 8 quart pot of water to a boil. Wash the escarole well as sometimes it is gritty. Cut the escarole in half, the long way, and then into approximately 1 inch pieces. Here I like to parboil my escarole for about 4 minutes. I find it takes a little of the bitterness out. Pull the swiss chard from the stems and rip into large pieces. I also cut up some of the smaller stems. Remove the escarole from the boiling water with a spider or a slotted spoon; this way if there is any grit that came out of the escarole it is left in the pan. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for a minute or two. Stir in the escarole and chard, toss to coat with the oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the escarole and the chard are wilted. Add the can of rinsed beans and the salt and pepper. Lower the heat, and simmer 5 –10 minutes.
As a second way, which is more of a meal, once your beans and greens have simmered for 5 – 10 minutes, add about 2 cups of chicken stock. While that is warming, cook any small pasta. I like to use ditalini or broken up thin spaghetti. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pan, add the beans and greens to
the pan. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve with any rustic bread. This is comfort food at its best.
Served either as an appetizer with crostini or as a main dish, escarole is very high in vitamin A and some studies show that it works very well in ridding the body of infections. It is also a good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron, and potassium. So give it a try and eat delicious!! Mangialicious!