Liza Shaw's Beans and Greens
Chef Liza Shaw started as an intern at an Italian restaurant where I cooked. She was always saying she did not plan to become a chef, but after vaulting into success and fame with talent, heart, hard work, and positivity, I think she is satisfied with where her career has taken her.
- 2 lbs large fresh shelling beans* (butterbeans/lima beans are great)
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 5 salt-packed anchovies (vegetarians can substitute with Bragg's liquid aminos or 2 tsp extra salt)
- 1 bunch escarole
- 1 bunch chard, stems removed
- 8 cloves garlic- 4 thinly sliced; 4 smashed
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1-2 TBS red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (you can make these by whizzing some of your bread in the food processor, or having the kids tear up some of your bread into tiny pieces)
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 TBS dried oregano
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 TBS olive oil
- Lemon juice, to taste
- 1. Shell the beans, put them in a large, heavy bottom pot and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the heat and stir in the ¼ cup kosher salt. Let the beans cool in their cooking liquid.
- 2. While the beans cook, put the anchovies in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak 30 minutes; pull the filets from the skeletons and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and add a handful of salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the greens in the boiling water until they wilt but are still brilliant green, about 1 minute. Transfer the blanched greens to the bowl of ice water. Once cool, squeeze the water from the greens, then coarsely chop them, and transfer to a bowl. You can also use the thick center ribs from the chard: chop them into ¼-inch pieces and blanch them separately from the leaves because they take a bit more time.
- 3. Make the sofritto: In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of the olive oil, the soaked anchovy filets, the sliced garlic and 2 tsp of the red pepper flakes. Heat over medium-low heat, using the back of a spoon to mash the anchovy filets. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes; the garlic should sizzle in the oil but not brown. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the lemon zest. Pour over the cooked greens and toss well to coat.
- 4. Wipe out the pan, then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crunchy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
- 5. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the remaining ¾ cup olive oil. Add the smashed garlic, fresh bay leaves, dried oregano and 1 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes. Cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds, then increase the heat to high. Add half of the cooked beans and a ladleful of bean cooking liquid. Cook the beans, stirring, until the liquid has mostly evaporated, then add the remaining beans and another ladleful of bean cooking liquid. Cook, stirring, until the liquid looks creamy and emulsified; if the mixture is dry, add a bit more cooking liquid. The beans should be very saucy and the sauce should coat the beans; in total, you’ll probably use about half of the cooking liquid.
- 6. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the remaining lemon zest. Taste the beans, seasoning them to taste with additional red pepper flakes or salt. Stir the cooked greens into the beans and cook, stirring, just until heated through. Taste again for seasoning, finishing with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- 7. Spoon the beans and greens into bowls, and garnish with some of the breadcrumbs.
- * Small boxes get 1 lb of shelling beans, so you'll need to cut the other ingredient amounts in half.
- You can make this recipe with dried butterbeans, also. You'll need to soak dried beans overnight and increase the bean cooking time to 1 1/2- 2 hours.
- If you have a lemon tree in your yard, add a few lemon leaves in step 5 along with the bay leaves.
- If you have a handful of cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and add them in step 6 with the lemon zest.
- Not Included In The Box: Kosher salt, red pepper flakes, fresh bay leaves, dried oregano, olive oil
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