Monday, December 30, 2013

Italian Greens & Beans

Spending a week back in Youngstown and being in the off-season at Nalls means I've gotten to spend a lot of time back in the kitchen, and what is cooking in my kitchen has been LOTS of Italian food.  As I've said before, neither of us have a lick of Italian in us, but growing up where we did, you essentially become Mediterranean by association.  So one of my hometown favorites I got to eat over the holidays was Italian Greens & Beans.  And while I was eating it, an epiphany, a delicious epiphany...there's no reason I can't make this on my own, AND this would make a perfect Crop Share recipe for all the greens we get.  BINGO!  So over this dreary weekend, I whipped up a batch of this loveliness, and this will definitely be going into heavy rotation any time we get greens in the Crop Share.  Traditionally this is made with escarole, but any greens will do.  So if you're burnt out on Kale Chips or flummoxed by collards, this is an easy, quick, versatile, and nutrient packed dish that's sure to please!

Italian Greens & Beans

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, diced
7 cups greens (I used a mix of spinach, baby chard and baby bok choy, but you can also use escarole, kale, collards, or Swiss chard, just remove larger leaves from the stems)
1/2 cup red wine (I used a pinot noir.  Avoid any sweet reds)
19 oz cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
3/4 cup marinara sauce
Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste
Dash or two of red pepper flakes, optional

In a large skillet, heat oil over high medium high heat.  Add in garlic and onion and saute until translucent.  Add in greens, and you may have to add them in batches to allow them to wilt down to make room for the rest.  Cook until greens are fully wilted.  Add in wine, and simmer for an additional minute or two.  Stir in beans and marinara, and then add your salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir to fully combine, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Taste sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.

This is great as a side dish, or toss it with some pasta for a vegetarian main dish.  Or throw in some chicken or shrimp for added protein.  We ate ours as a side, and then the leftovers got re-heated in a skillet with some leftover shrimp from shrimp cocktail, and then we tossed it with some gluten-free pasta.

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