Venetian-Style Beans with Swiss Chard

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 14h 55m

Serves 4

Combining beans, fresh herbs, anchovies and garlic, this Venetian side dish offers new flavors with every bite. Serve it as an antipasto or a vegetarian secondo piatto accompanied with broiled mushrooms and tomatoes or steamed vegetables and garlic-rubbed bruschetta.


  • For Beans:
  • 1 1/2 cups dried borlotti or cranberry beans
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • For Dressing:
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound Swiss chard leaves, stems trimmed and leaves cut into strips 2 inches wide
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, rinsed and mashed (optional)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram leaves or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Chopped fresh basil or parsley

Companion recipe: Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Beans and Fresh Herbs Vegetable Stock


FOR BEANS: Sort through them and discard any misshapen beans or stones. Rinse and place in a bowl. Add water to cover and let stand for 2-3 hours. Drain. In a saucepan, combine the beans with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain immediately. Re-cover with water, again bring to a boil and drain.

Return the beans to the pan and add the carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf and water just to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender but not mushy, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes, then drain and discard the liquid, vegetables and bay leaf. Set the beans aside.

FOR DRESSING: In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the Swiss chard, and sauté until almost limp, 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the shallots and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds; do not allow to brown. Add the anchovy, if using, and stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the reserved beans and stir until hot, 2-3 minutes.

Add the parsley, basil, mint, sage, thyme and marjoram, and stir until blended. Add the vinegar and stir for a few seconds to release the sharp vinegar fumes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool, cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to develop.

The next day, transfer to a serving dish, garnish with basil or parsley and serve at room temperature.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2222

nutrition information per serving

381 calories; 15g total fat; 1mg cholesterol; 353mg sodium; 47g carbohydrates; 17g fiber; 17g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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