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A flavorful braise

  • PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK TIMES

A braise in a half-hour? Definitely! This recipe is proof. The satisfying meatless main is inspired by the Italian dish of sautéed puntarelle (a variety of chicory) and white beans. For convenience’s sake, this version opts for canned white beans and Swiss chard, which is easier to find in the United States. Swap in kale or escarole for the chard, or Parmesan for the Pecorino Romano, though you may lose some of the dish’s inviting pungency. Mop up the garlicky broth with some bread, leaving none to waste. Every drop is a gift.

Braised white beans and greens with parmesan

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and small-diced

• 1 small yellow onion, small-diced

• 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or thyme, minced

• 5 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

• 1 large or 2 small bunches escarole, kale or Swiss chard, stems removed (10-12 ounces)

• 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed

• 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

Kosher salt and black pepper

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, grated, plus more for serving

Toasted country bread, for serving

• 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (optional)

Directions:

In a 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the fennel, onion and rosemary, and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 1 minute.

Begin adding handfuls of the greens, cooking and stirring until leaves wilt.

Add the white beans, broth and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, mashing some of the beans with a wooden spoon, until the liquid has reduced and thickened, 6-8 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in lemon juice, then the mozzarella, if using, and Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and top with more Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. Serve with toasted bread and red pepper flakes on the side.

Total time: 30 minutes, serves 4.

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