Crusty White Beans & Roasted Brussels Sprouts {with greens}

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So, this dish combines crispy, roasted Brussels sprouts and crusty, creamy white beans– lots of texture and tons flavor.  The addition of the greens give the whole dish a nutritional boost while freshly grated Parmesan is just icing on the cake.  Essentially, this dish is satisfying and filling but if you simply cannot live without some sort of of meat, I think the saltiness of chopped bacon or pancetta would work fabulously here as well.

Brussels sprouts are a staple of my fall cooking and for the past few years, once this season rolls around, I tend to eat them in bulk.  Usually roasted and straight off the pan.  If you haven’t had sprouts before (um, how?), I feel this is the most delicious way to cook them.  There’s no lingering bitterness and the edges and leaves get super crispy, almost like chips, while the insides soften in the oven. So. Good.  It took me a while to give them a try but once I did, I was hooked.

The recipe for the white beans comes from Heidi Swanson’s book, Super Natural Cooking, which provides delicious ways to incorporate natural, whole foods into your everyday kitchen.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading her blog (101 Cookbooks) or perusing her cookbooks, I highly recommend putting that on your to-do list!

Typically dried beans need to soak overnight prior to cooking so this recipe requires a bit of forethought.  You can even soak and cook the beans a few days in advance and keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.  I have also used canned Cannellini beans which still provides the same flavor profile, however they tend to turn mushy in the skillet so I say fresh is best!

If you have limited time or simply forgot to soak the beans prior to starting your recipe, have no fear.  The Kitchn has a quick-soaking method that only takes an hour (the how-to can be found here)! What-the-wha?!  I used it for this recipe and it worked beautifully!

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crusty white beans & roasted brussels sprouts {with greens}

RECIPE

For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
  • 1-2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • glug of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked white beans
    • 1 cup dried beans is approximately 3 cups cooked
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (or olive oil)
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 cups greens such as spinach, chard, or even mustard greens
    • I used Earthbound Farm’s Organic Power greens
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with foil.  Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut the sprouts into quarters.  Save any good leaves that come off.  In a bowl, toss all the Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes.  They should be soft while the edges should be brown and crispy.

With about 10 minutes left for the Brussels sprouts, you can start cooking the beans so everything will come together at the same time.

Melt the ghee over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add the beans to the skillet in a single layer and stir to coat the beans with butter, then let sit until browned on one side, about 3 minutes.  Turn beans to the other side to brown and leave for another 3-4 minutes.  The beans should be crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  Salt to taste, then add in the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion softens.  Stir in greens and cook until just beginning to wilt.  Add a splash or two of water to expedite the process.  This also helps getting the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

By now the sprouts should be done.  Add them to the skillet and give everything a good stir.  Remove from heat, drizzle with a bit of good quality olive oil and a hefty sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan.

Beans n Brussels

Side note:  I reheated the leftovers the next night in a skillet and added sun-dried tomatoes, chunks of whole-wheat croutons and goat cheese…it was divine!

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