Swiss Chard with Cannellini Beans, Saffron and Tomatoes

by Jennifer

Serve this recipe, adapted from one in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, with garlic toast on the side.  The chard seems to melt into the other ingredients for a homey and delicious meal.  Serves 3 – 4.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced, divided
  • large pinch saffron
  • 2 bunches swiss chard, leaves and some of stems, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add onions, basil, and saffron, and cook, stirring occasionally,

until onions are tender and golden, about 5 – 7 minutes.

Add swiss chard and cook, covered, over medium-low heat, tossing mixture occasionally,

until both chard leaves and stems are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in beans and tomatoes to warm them, then sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Garlicky Stewed White Beans with Mixed Peppers, No – Knead Bread

by Jennifer

The beauty of No-Knead Bread is you can make the dough days in advance and then, presto, you have fresh-baked bread for dinner.  Tonight I decided to broil mozzarella cheese on top of slices of bread;  you could serve it as is, with really good olive oil to dip it in, or sprinkled with Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano and broiled.

Serves 4.

Garlicky Stewed White Beans with Mixed Peppers – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow or red pepper, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage, or 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the chopped peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just start to become tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Add the water, sage, beans and tomatoes with their juice;  bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally,

for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.  Season with pepper.

White Bean and Mushroom Stuffed Bell Peppers, Challah

by Jennifer

This is my adaptation of a recipe I cut out of a newspaper (can’t remember which one!  Chicago Tribune?) ages ago.  You can make the filling and stuff the peppers ahead;  top with the panko mixture right before baking.  It serves 3 – 6, depending on if you serve anything else with it, or if some of the people eating are smaller, or have smaller appetites.

  • 3 large bell peppers, any color
  • 4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 oz white mushrooms, stems removed, sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 15.5-oz cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 oz. package fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or an estimation of that amount)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice peppers lengthwise and clean out seeds and membranes.  Place in a casserole dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 TBS of olive oil, and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes.

Add the mushrooms, turning the heat up to medium high, and cook until

the mushrooms are golden, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.

Add the beans, basil, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.  Remove the skillet from heat.

Fill the peppers with the bean and mushroom mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the panko and Parmesan cheese.  Drizzle in the remaining 2 TBS olive oil and stir well to combine.

Sprinkle the panko mixture over the peppers.  Add 2 TBS water to the casserole dish.

Bake the peppers, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot (if the topping gets too brown, gently tent a piece of foil over the dish).

Spanish White Beans with Spinach, Olive and Red Onion Bread

by Jennifer

This adaptation from Gourmet magazine is fast and delicious.  I had another loaf of Olive and Red Onion Bread in the freezer and defrosted it;  feel free substitute your favorite crusty bread.

Serves 4.

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (packed) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 6 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 29 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 oz. baby spinach

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium heat;  add onions, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, 6 – 8 minutes.

Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, for a minute.

Add beans, water, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste, stir, and cook, covered, over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring once, or until spinach is wilted.

Serve with remaining 2 TBS olive oil drizzled on top.

Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip

Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip

by Jennifer

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Slice off the very top of the head of garlic;  rub with a drop of olive oil.  Wrap well in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for an hour;  let cool.  (You can do this a day ahead.)  Squeeze out the roasted garlic and discard the papery skin.

In a food processor combine the roasted garlic, beans, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper;  process, stopping to scrape down sides.

While processor is running, pour the olive oil down the chute, and process until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve with crackers and crudites.  (You can make this earlier in the day and refrigerate;  let it come to room temperature before serving.)