For more hearty veggie dinners, see our 10 Best Vegetarian Main Courses.
When I was abroad in Rome, I was a total white-bean-aholic. I was on a tight budget then, as I am now, and something about white beans just felt so peasant chic–exactly the kind of humble, rustic food I should be eating to stretch my Euro. This Tuscan Baked Bean dish, a recipe from one of our very early posts, was one of the concoctions I ate weekly.
Recently, I came across this Dan Barber recipe for Kale and White Bean Stew. It reminded me so much of the food I loved to eat in Italy–food that was cheap, but had enough soul that you felt full and satisfied after eating it. Since chard happens to be my other favorite ingredient for humble soups and stews, I gave the recipe a go using it alongside the white beans. It evokes Cara’s garlicky, mouth-watering Stewed Greens with White Beans, another recipe from the blog’s long-ago archives.
For a really filling plate, try serving the stew on a bed of short pasta, like orchiette, and make sure there is plenty of cheese to go around.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Swiss Chard and White Bean Stew
Makes 4 servings
You can use dried beans, soaked overnight. Just cook them for longer (covered) in the broth, until tender. You might need to add more stock at the end of this process. Or, if you’re a crazy can hoarder like me, just use those!
1 pound chard leaves, center ribs and stems removed
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 shallots, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained (or use dried, see note)
4 cups vegetable broth
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino (plus more for passing)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in medium Dutch Oven or heavy lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, shallots, and garlic, and cook until soft, stirring, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the white beans, 4 cups of broth, the thyme sprigs, and bay leaf and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Add the chard and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Add more broth by 1/2 cupfuls to thin stew, if desired. Mix in Sherry wine vinegar, half the pecorino and parsley. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as necessary.
Garnish with the remaining cheese and herbs. Serve with more cheese for passing, and a good piece of crusty, toasty country bread. For an even more substantial plate, spoon the stew over orchiette or another short past shape, and enjoy.