Simple and satisfying: this recipe is packed with escarole, a member of the chicory family that is only available locally for a short time!
Combining grains and beans for a complete protein and then adding the tang of escarole makes for a perfect weeknight meal that goes from pot to table in under 30 minutes. Order escarole from our market and make this dish a meatless favorite while escarole is in season locally!
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 bunch of escarole, washed and chopped
2 cans of Pinto Beans, drained (we recommend Bush's pinto beans)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil)
1 lb pasta (shells, orecchiette, or pasta of your choice)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
To Make the Dish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While waiting for water to boil, saute onions and garlic in olive oil on low heat until golden (10 minutes). Add the greens and 1 cup of water. Increase the heat to medium, cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring halfway through so all of the escarole is being cooked. Add the beans and basil and cook for 5 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash some of the beans in the pot to thicken the sauce. Add lemon juice and stir.
When the water boils, add the pasta and cook as directed on the package.
When paste is cooked to al dente, drain it and toss with the beans and greens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
While our family makes this recipe with seasonal chicory varieties (belgian endive, escarole, mizuna), we have found that Bush's pinto beans (in the blue can) yield the best tasting beans and greens (we've tried many other varieties and do not like the results). And while we have used dried basil, fresh basil, really adds depth to the flavor.
This recipe is a family favorite from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites Cookbook. This book is the most used cookbook in our large collection, and you can tell by it's awful condition: the binding is broken is several places, pages are taped in, and many recipes have writing on them (indicating they've been tried and liked).
- Amy Tix, Borner Farm Foodie