Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Escarole and Beans

Escarole and Beans is something that my mom used to make once in a while when we were kids.  It's one of those "comfort foods" that brings me back to my childhood.  I remember sitting in the kitchen, and digging in.  It's another very easy meals, and best of all - it's a "one pot wonder!"  There's nothing better than only needed to wash one pot.  

I found the recipe in my Weight Watchers cookbook (It was called White Bean and Escarole Soup) and as soon as I saw it, I decided.  This is it.  

Today's recipe:

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (My garlic was massive, so I only used 3 cloves)
1 (1-lb) head of escarole, cleaned and chopped
4 (14.5 ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth (I had a 48 oz box, with a cup removed.  I used what I had left and substituted water for the last cup)
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes (I also added in red pepper flakes and sauteed those with the garlic).  Add escarole, in batches, if necessary, and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 2 minutes (I cooked the ecarole for more than 2 minutes...I'd say closer to 5 minutes).

Add broth and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes (I would say that I simmered this for closer to 20 minutes.  I didn't think 10 minutes would be enough).  Add beans and pepper and cook until heated through, 2 minutes longer (Once again, I cooked longer than 2 minutes.  Probably 5-10 minutes).

Ladle soup in 4 large shallow soup bowls and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan (I never added cheese onto my Escarole and Beans as a kid....I decided to skip this step).

The step that the weight watchers book leaves out is this:  Take an English muffin, toast it, and ladle the soup over the English muffin.  It adds a little bit of something that is otherwise missing :o)

Overall, I'd say that this meal was a success.  It didn't taste exactly as I remembered it from when my mom and Nonni used to make it, but it was good.  I'll have to make sure I get their recipe and compare to see what I did different.

Day 2 of being an Adult:  Still pretty easy!

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