We are at that time of year where there is something festive planned for every weekend between now and the end of January. With two mid-January birthdays in this house wrapping up the season and my birthday the week before Halloween kicking it off, we extend our holiday season for months. To offset the abundance of cakes, pie, candy, celebratory drinks and rich foods of all sorts (I’m looking at you Oysterfest), I try to keep our weekly meals inbetween all the festivities fairly healthy, veering towards vegan more often than not.
Marisa posted this White Beans and Greens recipe which inspired dinner one night recently. It turned out so well, I’ve made it a few more times and in telling a friend about it, realized I’d made so many changes, it would just be easier to write down my own version.
I had a slew of greens from various root vegetables I’d bought at market Saturday morning – beet, turnip and radish, plus a few stray stems of kale hanging around. When I cook with greens, I like to chop the stems separately and throw them in with the firmer vegetables that take a bit longer to soften as they saute, like the onions and carrots.
My version probably isn’t as creamy as the original, although the white beans do a nice job here of adding that texture. I like to serve this over barley or other whole grains, with some pepper sauce to add kick. Last time I served this, Edie girl expressed great delight upon finding out what was for dinner with an enthusiastic “Yay! I love this dinner!”, which is always a vote of mamma confidence. What I love about the idea of this meal is that you can use any greens you have lying around, you can follow the original idea and use more olive oil and Parmesan cheese to make it creamy or follow my more humble vegan version, which we found highly comforting after an overly festive Halloween weekend. Either way you go, it’s quick, cheap, healthy and excellent comfort food that uses up all those stray greens in your fridge. Score!
Greens & Beans
Sauté thickly sliced onion in some olive oil. When onions are translucent, add carrots, seasoning with salt. Cook 3-5 minutes or until carrots are soft. Add chopped stems (if using) and dash of wine, seasoning to taste with salt. When stems have softened, add a can (or two) of drained white beans and a healthy amount of minced garlic, adding wine to keep everything from sticking to the pan, slightly crushing the beans as you stir if you like. Sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add chopped or torn greens in increments if necessary and wilt, adding liquid (wine or water) and seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Cook until you reach the desired tenderness of your greens. Serve over cooked whole grains (like barley or grits) with pepper sauce.