Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Garlicky Greens & Beans

Swiss chard is a beloved green of the Eastern Mediterranean. The rainbow-colored stems and big green leaves reveal its many vitamins and minerals. My favorite way to cook chard is by simply braising it in a pan with olive oil, creamy white beans, garlic and fresh lemon. The lemon and garlic lift all the flavors of this humble, tasty dish. 

A big bowl of greens and beans with a crusty piece of bread is healthy, delicious and affordable. Toss it into pasta with some grated Parmesan cheese or serve it over quinoa for a simple vegetarian supper. Pair it with rice for a complete protein. Greens and beans make a good sidekick for grilled chicken or fish too. 

Garlicky Greens and Beans Recipe

Some Notes:

The greens contain some natural salt so be careful how much salt you add as they can become overly salty.

Chickpeas can be used in place of the white beans.


  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard rinsed very well and chopped. Chop the stems and leaves into small pieces. Keep the leaves and stems separate. 
  • 1 16-ounce can of white cannellini beans rinsed and drained. 
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced. I use a microplane zester for this. You can use a garlic press too. 
  • 1 lemon, zest half of it and reserve the zest.   
  • 3 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • To Serve: grated Parmesan, drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice  


Put some olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the chard stems to the pan first with some salt and pepper. Saute to soften them. Then add the green leaves with more salt and pepper. Don't worry about removing the water from the greens, you'll need it to braise them. If it looks like a massive amount, it'll cook down to half its size. 

Cook the greens until the leaves begin to wilt a little, stirring frequently. You may need to do this in batches if your pan is too small. Once the greens have started to wilt a bit, stir in the beans. Turn the heat down to low and add a little water to the greens and beans, about a tablespoon or so. Cover and cook, checking and stirring frequently. Your braising the greens and beans now. Cook until the stems and leaves are both tender. Stir in the minced garlic then bring the heat up to medium-high to warm the garlic, stirring often. Finish the dish with the reserved lemon zest and a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!

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