Scarole and Beans

There’s nothing quite like scarole and beans – this is especially true if you wish to take part in a little day-after clearing-of-the-room. Scusi.

Although many recipes suggest that this particular pairing be served hot, as a soup, for the life of me I can only recall ever having it cold – more in line with that of an antipast.

While unquestionably satisfying regardless of it’s temperature, this easy to prepare side is also teeming with an array of vitamins – from A to K – as well as antioxidants, iron, potassium and dietary fiber (hence the room clearing)… The most rewarding benny however, is how truly refreshing it can be.

Biters beware – no scarole-scarfing experience could truly be replete if it were not for a bit of grit to befall, at the very least, one mouthful.

No matter how long Frances rinsed her escarole, a few sand particles always found their way in. This was not only expected, it was welcomed.

Scarole and beans alongside seitan chicken marsala (seitan chicken cutlet recipe here).

Scarole and beans recipe after this

Scarole and Beans

-large pot/boiling apparatus
-long-handled tongs
-large mixing bowl
-large sautée pan
-cucchia(d) aka stirring spoon
-Saran wrap or tin foil

-1 head of escarole (kale works too)
-1/2 cup of dried cannellini beans, cooked (or can of rinsed beans)
-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
-1 cippolini (or very small onion), diced
-1 whole lemon
-sea salt to taste
-a few twists of whole black pepper
-two shakes of garlic powder
-2 whacks of olive oil


Get water going in boiling apparatus. Meanwhile thoroughly rinse greens and roughly chop, stems and all.

Prepare onion, garlic and cut lemon in to 3/4 and 1/4 portions. Keep larger portion “full” and slice remaining into 1/4″ rounds.

Blanch off greens for about 10-15 minutes or until the stems are tender, but still retain a faint crunch.

Carefully remove greens from water with tongs and place in colander to cool. Do not rinse at this point (removes too many good-for-yous). Keep hot water pot on stovetop and set aside.

Bring large sauté pan up to a high heat before adding a twirl of olive oil and a few squeezes of juice from “full” lemon (exercise seed caution). Add onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent. Combine greens with 1/4 cup of leftover “greens water” and re-season with a bit more salt, pepper and garlic powder. Simmer for about 5 minutes before cranking heat down to low – check for seasoning then add beans. Stir beans in briefly before transferring to mixing bowl. Squeeze remaining lemon juice and re-whack with a smidge of olive oil.

Allow scarole to cool before placing lemon slices atop and covering with Saran Wrap or tin foil. Refrigerate (overnight if possible) before serving.

Note: liquid will continue to be extracted from greens as it cools. Sop it up with some nice, crusty bread or slurp it straight up, á la Salvatore G.


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