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.

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

Scarole and beans recipe after this

Scarole and Beans

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

Ingredients:
-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

Method:

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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