White Beans and Escarole (Perfect Side for Grilled Sausage)

July 14, 2009


We’re lucky—we live in NYC and have a whole house. Including a backyard. But here’s the catch: we rent the garden level apt in our brownstone and have yet to build a deck. So we don’t actually have access to our backyard. Not yet. We built a door to the backyard when we renovated the place, but it currently leads to nothing more than a story drop. Needless to say, the door is sealed for now. And we’re stuck watching tenants grill all summer long.

Wait! Make that we were stuck watching tenants grill all summer long. They just moved out and until new tenants move in (anyone looking to rent a garden apt in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn? Get in touch!), we get to use our backyard. And the grill. First thing to hit the fire this weekend: delicious, all-natural, perfectly spicy italian sausage. Though I wanted to grill our entire meal, we had escarole that needed to be eaten. So, putting off my all-grilled meal until later this week, I headed indoors (briefly) to make this quick white bean and escarole saute that was the perfect accompaniment to spicy grilled sausage.

White Beans and Escarole
(can be adapted for kids 8+ mos)

3 tbsp organic olive oil, plus 1 tsp to finish
2 medium organic onions, halved and thinly sliced (or finely chopped for young eaters)
4 cloves organic garlic, minced
1/3 c organic sun dried tomatoes, chopped (skip for kids under 12 mos)
1 head organic escarole, cleaned and roughly torn into pieces
1/3 c organic chicken or vegetable broth
1 can organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp organic lemon juice, freshly squeezed, plus extra to finish (substitute cider vinegar for kids under 12 mos)
1/2 c organic parmesan, grated
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute until they begin to turn a light golden brown. Add tomatoes and saute another minute or two, until they begin to soften. (If you aren’t using “fresh” sun dried tomatoes or ones that have been soaking in olive oil, add them at the same time as the onion and garlic since it will take much longer for them to soften.)

Add escarole. You may need to do this in batches, waiting for one batch to wilt before adding the next. When all of the escarole is in the pan and wilted, add chicken stock and, if serving only to older kids and adults, a healthy sprinkling of salt. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until 3/4 of the liquid has cooked off.

3. Stir in the beans and lemon juice. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and the greens are tender.

Remove from heat and stir in parmesan. Set young eaters’ portion(s) aside. Finish with salt and pepper, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

One Response

  1. Pepper says:

    Hi, just had to write and tell you how fantastic this recipe was – the 16 month old LZ loved it and so did we….had to innovate a little bit with what we’ve got available here in rural hawaii, no escarole but kale worked great, and no sun dried tomatoes but fresh grape tomatoes sauteed with the onions were perfect, also no cannelini beans but pinto beans were what we had!

    lots of aloha, from a north shore family

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