The combination of delicate white beans with richly sautéed, strongly flavored bitter greens is simply perfect. With the astringent quality of the greens aiding in the digestion of the protein and fat of the beans, this dish nourishes us deeply, without overworking our systems, leaving us plenty of energy for our lives.
Makes 3-5 servings
1-inch piece kombu or 1 bay leaf
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, left whole
½ cup dried cannellini beans, rinsed well, soaked for 1 hour
1 cup spring or filtered water
extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, thin slices
½ red onion, thinly sliced
generous pinch red pepper flakes
small bunch broccoli rabe, rinsed well, cut into small pieces
3-4 lemon wedges
Place kombu or bay leaf in a small pot with garlic and drained beans. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, uncovered. Boil for about 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook beans until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain away any remaining liquid and remove kombu/bay leaf and garlic.
Place a small amount of oil in a deep skillet with garlic and onion, over medium heat. When vegetables begin to sizzle, add red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in broccoli rabe, season lightly with salt and sauté until limp and deeply green, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and gently stir in cooked beans until just combined. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with lemon wedges on the side.