Saturday, March 7, 2009

Braised White Beans & Swiss Chard

Let me start by saying the boy looked at this (which I served with a roasted chicken breast) and thought "at least I'll like the chicken." He luckily didn't say this until after he tried and enjoyed it. I mean the raving kind of enjoyed that I rarely expect to get with vegetables. I've been really conscious of working more leafy greens into the meals I cook at home, because I know he doesn't get them when he's out and with the exception of some salad with lunch they aren't often offered in the chafing dish buffet line where I am getting my lunch these days. So on Sunday I bought some Swiss Chard, having no clue what I was going to do with it. I then remembered we had a can of white beans in the pantry and kinda just threw this together from there.

On a pantry note, canned beans are the best thing to keep around. I prefer black beans and cannellini beans. But will often have chickpeas or kidney beans lying around as well. They go well with so many things and make for an easy side dish or even a whole meal!

Braised White Beans & Swiss Chard

1 bunch swiss chard - trimmed from stems and sliced into 1/2" ribbons
19 oz canned white beans - drained and rinsed
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 clove garlic - minced
1/2 onion - chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
pinch crushed red pepper
salt & pepper to taste

1. Let prepared chard ribbons sit in cold water to rinse. Then drain in a colander and press dry with paper towels.
2. In a pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, onions and red pepper until onions become translucent being careful not to brown the garlic.
3. Add in drained beans, chard, wine and chicken broth. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes until chard becomes tender. Serve topped with a drizzle of truffle oil (Completely optional, but we had some and it was fabulous)

It may not be much to look at but boy was it tasty. For as long as I have been cooking it continues to amaze me, in a good way, how just a few simple ingredients can come together to make something so flavorful. I also love how a simple sofritto (the Italians mire poix) of garlic, onions and crushed red pepper is the perfect base for almost anything. Enjoy!

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