Beans and Greens with Slow-Cooked Garlic

Preparation info

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    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

A moist, soupy stew, full of flavor and packed with nutrients. Stewing the garlic slowly in olive oil before adding it to the beans mellows its flavor and lets its flavor permeate the oil, which then carries it through the dish.


  • cups dried cannellini beans, soaked
  • 2 cups unsalted canned chicken broth plus
  • 2 cups water or 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli rabe, swiss chard, chicory, or escarole, tough stems trimmed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste


    1. Combine the beans, broth, bay leaf, onion, and carrot in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until beans are tender but not mushy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the onion and discard. Slice the carrot and return to saucepan. Add salt to taste. (The beans can be cooked up to 1 day ahead.)
    2. Shortly before serving, stir in the greens. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a small heavy skillet over low heat, until garlic begins to sizzle. Cook, adjusting the heat so that the garlic simmers but does not brown, until garlic is very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the red pepper and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and mash garlic with a fork. Press the garlic mixture through a small sieve directly into the beans and stir to blend. Serve with additional red pepper, if desired.