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Venetian-Style Beans with Swiss Chard

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Trattoria by Mary Beth Clark
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Active Time:  25 Minutes
Total Time:  14 Hours 55 Minutes
  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 lb 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
Other necessary recipes:
Vegetable Stock Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Beans and Fresh Herbs
Venetian-Style Beans with Swiss Chard Recipe at
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.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 381
Fat. Total: 15g
Fiber: 17g
Carbohydrates, Total: 47g
Sodium: 353mg
% Cal. from Fat: 35%
Cholesterol: 1mg
Protein: 17g
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