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Braised Black Beans & Greens

One question we get a lot is how to use braising greens-- kale, chard, broccoli leaves... anything tough and green seems to stump our membership. Since you'll get them pretty often in your shares, especially in winter, it seemed like a good idea to add a few more tried-and-true recipes to the mix! This recipe is inspired from one in Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen. A terrific book, it also has a lot of vegan options.

 1 whole head garlic
 Sunflower or olive oil
 1 small onion, finely diced
 2 garlic cloves sliced thinly
 1-2 tbsp white wine
 1-1.5 bunches greens (about 1 lb): chard, spinach, kale or collards, or the greens from cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, or beets. Washed and roughly chopped.
 Fresh herbs: some chopped cilantro and/or parsley
 Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
 1 cup broth
 1 ½ cups cooked beans (pinto, black, cannellini, etc), home cooked or canned and drained (if home-cooked, save a bit of the cooking broth)
 3 to 4 slices thick bread
 Cheese for garnish: shaved parmesan or crumbled feta (optional)

Turn your oven to 400. Slice off the top of the whole head of garlic so that all the individual cloves are exposed. Nestle in a packet of aluminum foil. Drizzle the exposed cloves with a little oil, and then tightly seal up in the foil. Roast for 35-45 minutes, until you could easily pierce the exposed cloves with a sharp knife tip. Tip: roast a bunch at once and store cloves in your fridge in a little oil or freeze for a few months. Great thrown into a soup or stew.


While the garlic roasts, prepare the rest of the meal. Heat about a tbsp of oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook over medium, stirring occasionally till it softens (4-5 min) and sprinkle a half tsp of salt on top. Add the thinly sliced garlic and cook for one more minute, being careful not to burn it.


Add washed greens and fresh herbs and allow to cook down, tossing every once in a while to make sure they're evenly cooking. Add in white wine and allow it to cook off. Once they're wilted, add in ½ cup broth from the beans or veggie stock, and cover the whole skillet partially and drop the heat to low. Cook until tender (depending on the greens, this could take 5 - 30 min.) Keep checking the pan to make sure it doesn't get too dry, adding a little extra liquid if needed.


When the greens are done cooking to your taste, add the cooked beans to heat them through. Take a bite and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.


Toast the bread in the pre-heated oven or your toaster, and when done spread some of the roasted garlic cloves on top.


On soup plates or shallow bowls, serve the greens and beans with a slash of finishing oil and a cheese garnish (if using) alongside the toasted garlic bread.