Cannelini Beans with Swiss Chard

Cannelini beans are the king of the dried bean world. They’re a white kidney bean that cooks up very tender and have great flavor. Recipe serves 6-8 as a side dish.

1 lb – dried Cannelini beans
½ cup – diced yellow onions
½ cup – diced carrots
½ cup – diced celery
5 – unpeeled garlic cloves
A bouquet garni with fresh thyme, bay leaves and parsley
2 – bunches Swiss chard washed and cut crosswise into 1″ strips
3 – garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Follow the soaking directions on the bean package, or, if you like your beans fully farted, don’t bother soaking them first. Be aware that this adds some time to the cooking process.

Sweat the onions, carrots and celery in olive oil in a pot big enough to hold the beans and enough water to cover by at least an inch. Add the beans, unpeeled garlic cloves and the bouquet garni. Add a few grinds from the pepper grinder. Add enough water to cover the beans by an inch or two. Bring the beans to a boil. Partially cover and turn down to a simmer. Don’t let water level drop too low or you will have some undercooked beans in your final dish. Cannelini beans cook faster than your average dry bean, so start checking them for doneness after about 30 minutes. Don’t add salt until the beans are done.

While the beans are cooking, saute the Swiss Chard and the chopped garlic for a few minutes. Add a little white wine or water, cover, and cook until the chard is tender.

Mix the chard into the beans, adjust the seasoning and serve. Drizzle with your best extra virgin olive oil just before serving.

This is also a good stand alone dish for the veggie only folks.

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