Chicory with White Beans

Chicory with White Beans

adapted from The New York Times

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans, washed and picked over, soaked for 4 to 6 hours in 2 quarts water and drained
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  Salt to taste
  • 1 pound red rib chicory, leaves separated from stems
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. In a large pot bring to a boil the soaked and drained beans with 2 quarts water. Skim any foam that appears, then add the onion, crushed garlic, bay leaf and salt to taste. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, until the beans are very tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Remove and discard the onion and bay leaf. Drain through a colander set over a bowl to reserved the cooking liquid.
  3. Mash the beans with a potato masher and moisten with some of the cooking liquid. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. The purée should be loose. Add more liquid as needed.
  4. Prepare a bowl of cold water and set aside.
  5. Generously salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil.  Add the Chicory and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking and then drain. Squeeze out water and chop coarsely.
  6. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and stir in the chicory. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring, until the chicory is nicely coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve with the mashed beans.