In the Italian culinary tradition, elaborated dishes are as frequent as very simple ones. Beans and Greens is one of these last!
I reckon it belongs to the southern Italian cooking art.
My husband’s grandmother cooks the beans together with Catalogna chicory and she learned in Calabria. Calabria is that region that almost touches Sicily:
And as a matter of fact my Sicilian dad told me that his mum used to prepare beans with wild leaves such as dandelion’s ones!
In both cases the bitter of the greens gets milder thanks to the beans presence.
To be honest it was still too bitter for me so I am very happy with my milder variation.
But if you want to try the original one just find some chicory and give it a try, it might surprise you!
I know lots of people who love it.
- 250g beans (I have used dry pinto beans but you can use any, in tin or not)
- 400g Pak Choi (that’s what I have used) or spinach or chard or chicory.
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Hot chilly pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you use dry beans soak them overnight in a bowl with plenty of water.
The next morning discard the water and place the beans in a big pot, cover them with water.
Add salt and a bay leaf if you have it (it helps for cooking legumes)
Bring to the boil and cook for an hour or until tender (half the time if you are using a pressure pot!). Set aside.
Wash your greens.
Chop them irregularly.
Pour a bit of oil in a frying pan and add the garlic squeezed or cut in small pieces
Let it gently fry for about a minute stirring continuously to avoid it burns.
Place the leaves in the pan and cover or if using Pak Choi stir fry it.
When cooked add the drained beans and the hot chilly pepper.
Stir Beans and Greens together on the flame for a couple of minute and enjoy!
P.S. In the picture you can see I have used onions but it’s just a variation I tried today, when unbelievably I found myself without garlic in the house! I believe the classic dish is better and quicker.0