Branch out by trying escarole, a pleasantly bitter selection that contains more fiber than other common salad greens. It works in both raw and cooked applications; here its earthiness complements the creamy beans and smoky bacon. It's also great in soups--toss a handful of chopped escarole into your favorite recipe during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking.
2 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
6 cups chopped escarole (about 2 [8-ounce] heads)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
How to Make It
Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add escarole, and cook for 2 minutes or until escarole wilts, stirring frequently. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and chicken broth; cook 15 minutes or until escarole is tender, stirring occasionally. Add beans; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with bacon.
This was a fantastic side dish. I wish I had made more. My grocery store didn't have escarole so I used kale instead and cooked it for about half the time as was indicated for the escarole. I also didn't cook the onions for 12 minutes, but more like 5. 12 minutes seemed like an awfully long time for a small dice. They still had the flavors of a nice caramelization. The flavors of the kale, bacon, white beans and caramelized onion worked really well together. I paired it with cheese ravioli and from-scratch tomato sauce. AND a Concha Y Toro Syrah. Yum! This one is definitely a keeper!