Award-winning food educator and cookbook author Jennifer McGruther’s The Nourished Kitchen not only teaches how to prepare wholesome, nourishing foods, but also encourages a mindful approach cooking and a celebration of old-world culinary traditions. Brighten up hearty beans and greens with a squeeze of lemon for a satisfying side dish.
I treasure the salty and faintly metallic flavor of Swiss chard, and both the plant’s leaves and stems can bring a different flavor and a different texture to cooking. I like to use them separately, sautéing the tough stems in olive oil, as you might do with celery or onion. The stems soften a bit, losing their tough texture. The leaves, by contrast, grow dull with extended cooking, so I prefer to add them at the very end so they wilt in the heat of the warm beans and chicken broth but maintain their bright color. A bit of lemon helps to brighten the otherwise earthy flavors of beans and greens.
Marrow beans with Swiss chard
- 1 1/2 cups marrow beans
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard (about 12 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade
- unrefined sea salt, finely ground
- Pour the beans into a large mixing bowl, cover with hot water by 2 inches and stir in the baking soda.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow it to sit on the kitchen counter for at least 18 and up to 24 hours.
- Drain the beans and rinse them well.
- Put the soaked beans in a large stockpot and pour in enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches.
- Bring them to a boil over medium‑high heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain the beans and set aside.
- Using a sharp paring knife, separate the chard stems from the greens.
- Finely chop the stems and set them in a small bowl.
- Stack the leaves on top of one another, roll them into a cigar, and slice crosswise into strips 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Toss in the garlic and chopped chard stems and sauté until the garlic softens and the color of the chard stems turns ever so slightly more vibrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the red pepper flakes and lemon zest and cook for a minute or two, then add the beans to the skillet.
- Sauté the beans for 3 to 5 minutes, until they acquire the flavor of the garlic and lemon.
- Grab chard leaves by the handful and drop them into the hot pan.
- Stir once or twice to mix them with the beans, then add the broth.
- Cover and simmer until the chard leaves wilt, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve hot.
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