Beans and Escarole

Beans and Escarole an Italian classic and a long-time family favorite.  As a side note, the Dutch oven pictured is vintage 1940’s Magnalite made from re-purposed post-war aluminum; it was used by my Mom for decades and now enjoys continued use in our kitchen. 

Escarole, with its leaves of bright green and white, heart of yellow-green and white tender new leaves and lightly-bitter taste, combines with creamy cannellini beans and the panache of pancetta to make Beans and Escarole a cold-weather dinner favorite.  Any leftovers should be refrigerated, then reheated gently and consumed within a day or two of preparation.

Select a fresh, firm head of escarole, avoid wilted ones or heads where the leaves are falling off the base, a sign that the escarole is not fresh. Cannellini beans are the traditional bean used in Beans and Escarole, but feel free to substitute small white beans or great northern beans.  Using canned beans, as we’ve done here, makes for a relatively quick preparation.  You can also start with dried beans which requires a little bit of planning ahead, see the note below regarding their preparation.   Prepare Beans and Escarole with a Sicilian Orange Salad starter for a simple and satisfying Italian dinner.

Beans and Escarole

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 1 hours, 20 minutes Serves: 4

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