Smitten Kitchen’s Bean and Chard Stew
So I am basically just re-posting this Smitten Kitchen recipe, but it was so good I had to. I’ve made a lot of these types of dishes- tomato
based stews with beans- but this one was uncommonly good, and was over the top good with toasted bread (I made garlic bread) and a poached egg on top. A word of warning that the bread, even when it’s toasted, soaks up the sauce from the stew immediately, which can leave your bread soggier than you might like and less sauce in your stew. If you want to avoid that, just place the bread on the side and eat it bit by bit with the stew and egg. This is hearty enough for Winter, quick enough for a weeknight, and good enough for year round. Serves 4.
1 pound Swiss chard (I used 1 bunch) ends trimmed and cleaned
1 T olive oil
1 c chopped carrots
1 c chopped celery
1 c shallots, about 4 medium (I skipped these)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 c dry white wine or dry vermouth
2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I would recommend cannellini or Great Northern, but I used butter beans and they were good)
2 c (or more to taste) vegetable broth
1 c pureed tomatoes (I cheated and used tomato sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 T sherry vinegar
Toasted bread slices, or garlic bread, poached eggs (see instructions below), and grated Parmesan for serving
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook chard for one minute, then drain and squeeze out as much extra water as possible. Remove the stems and ribs and chop into small pieces. Coarsely chop chard leaves and set all aside.
Rinse out the pot and heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, shallots and garlic and saute for 15 minutes. Add wine and de-glaze the pan, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pot. Cook the wine until it reduced by three-fourths. Add the beans, broth, tomatoes, a few pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme, bay leaf and chopped chard stems and ribs (but not the leaves) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Add more broth if you’d like a thinner stew and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over or next to garlic bread, and drizzle stew with sherry vinegar. Top with a poached egg and a grating of Parmesan cheese.
To poach eggs: bring a skillet of water almost to a boil. When there are bubbles all over the bottom of the pan and the surface of the water is just barely shimmering, add a tablespoon or so of white vinegar. Then, drop the eggs in carefully, trying to prevent them from spreading. Once all the eggs are in (do no more than 4 in a skillet), you can use a spoon or fork to carefully lift any whites that have spread over the top of the yolks, and spoon some water over the tops of the yolks to help cooking. Maintain the heat to have barely a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. If the yolks still look too runny, cook for 30 seconds to one more minute. Carefully remove eggs from the water and eat. You can reuse the water for more eggs- it will work even better after a use.