There’s a lack of soups on the site and you want to know why?  It’s hasn’t been cold enough this year for big, warm, comforting bowls of soup!  Today was a chilly one, so in honor of the cold I made one of my classic staples: escarole and beans.

Do you know about escarole and beans? 

(Or “SCHKAROL” as some Brooklynese speaking Italian-Americans refer to it, ahem, MA’.) 

It’s another peasant food staple in most Italian-American homes. 

My Nonni used to (and still does) make us eat this all the time…she’d say “SO HEALTHY!” 

(And, now that I’m older I realize it really is.  Minimal whole ingredients, hearty and the cannellini beans are high in fiber and iron, making this a very healthy dish.)

I served this with crusty bread and I use the bread to sop up all the juices along the way of eating.

You can’t get much more Italian than this…  A special recipe to share, I hope you love it.

2 bunches of escarole, about two pounds, found in the produce section

1 19 oz. can of cannellini beans, I used Progresso brand

10 cloves of garlic, diced

4 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon of red pepper

1 pinch of salt

few grinds of fresh pepper

Wash your escarole and give it a rough chop (discard the stems).

In a large stockpot on medium-low heat, add 2 of your 4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once hot, add ½ of your diced garlic and sauté till garlic softens and you start to begin to see it turning gold.

Add your chopped escarole, stir.

Add ¼ cup of water and cover pot.

Stir it every two minutes.

5 minutes into cooking add a small pinch of salt.

This should cook for a total of about 10 minutes, until escarole is cooked down and wilted.

Once done, remove from heat.

While your escarole is cooking, in a sauté pan on low heat add the other 2 of your 4 tablespoons of olive oil.

Once hot, add the rest of your diced garlic and sauté till garlic beings to turn golden brown.

Add your can of undrained cannellini beans and stir.

Add the red pepper, stir.

Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.  When done, remove from heat.

Once your escarole is done and the beans are finished, add the beans (in their liquid) to your stockpot of escarole.

The sauté pan that you cooked the beans in will have some leftover delicious residue in the pan, add ¼ water to your sauté pan, swirl around with a wooden spoon and then put the water into the pot of escarole and beans.

Put on low heat for 1 minute so all the flavors fully mix together and remove from heat.

Add few grinds of fresh black pepper and serve with crusty bread.