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Swiss Chard with Cannellini

Swiss Chard with Cannellini
The Italians often braise their beloved bietola (Swiss chard) with beans for a humble and healthy sauce over pasta. You can serve this meatless stew over rice or polenta, if youd like. For best texture, dont use the chard stems; set them aside for minestrone or to braise on their own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch (about 1 lb.) red, white or rainbow Swiss
      chard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and
      rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Trim the stems and center ribs off the chard and reserve for another use. Rinse the leaves, shake off the excess water and stack the leaves on a cutting board. Thinly slice crosswise. Set aside.

In a wide sauté pan or 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens a bit, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chard by the handful, letting each addition cook down a bit before adding the next. Stir in the beans. Cover the pan and simmer until the greens are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Adapted from Braises & Stews, by Tori Ritchie (Chronicle Books, 2007).