Escarole & Beans
Growing up in our Catholic Italian home, our family honored the tradition of not eating meat on Friday's. Most Friday's we ate fish but at least twice a month we ate the Escarole & Beans. Mom would cook this escarole (pronounced Scadahl) dish the same way her mother, Grandma Florence, did during the depression era. Grandma had 7 children to feed and this meal was inexpensive, healthy, full of protein and delicious.
- 3 large heads of escarole
- 3 15-ounce cans Progresso cannellini beans
- 3½ quarts chicken broth
- 11 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed and whole
- 1 tsp salt (omit if salt sensitive)
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- dash of pepper to taste
- grated Pecorino Romano for topping
- Fill an 8-quart pot halfway up with chicken broth, add 3 smashed garlic cloves and bring to a boil.
- Add escarole to boiling broth and boil for approximately 40 minutes or until the escarole and broth have reduced by 2/3 and the green color changes to more of an olive green.
- Heat EVOO in a large saucepan and saute 8 cloves of smashed garlic until they just start to turn yellow. Do not burn.
- Add cannellini beans to garlic and oil. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to simmer on low for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. When done shut heat and keep covered.
- Once escarole and broth are reduced by 2/3 pour the cannellini beans into the escarole pot and mix well.
- Place a lengthwise slice of day-old Italian bread in a pasta bowl. Pour a few ladles of escarole & beans with the liquid over the bread, letting the liquid soak into the bread.
- Top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.
Note: Our husbands both liked adding sliced Italian Sweet Sausage, as they are true carnivores!