Escarole and Beans

From "Fabulicious!: Fast & Fit"
 
156 calories, 4 g fat, 9 g fiber, 
9 g protein per serving

If you’ve never had escarole, this is the place to start! While it starts as a leafy, green lettuce, it cooks down tender and sweet in this creamy dish. It’s another recipe that easily makes a lot, and makes for great, time-saving leftovers the next day (turn it into soup by adding broth, chopped tomatoes, and a little prosciutto). Escarole is very sandy, so wash it really well in a couple changes of water before using.

Makes 8 servings

2 heads escarole
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, with their juices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Core the escarole and coarsely chop the leaves. In batches, add the escarole to a large bowl of cold water and agitate well to loosen the dirt. Lift the escarole out of the water, leaving the dirt in the bottom of the bowl, and transfer to another bowl. Do not dry the escarole.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the escarole and cook for 5 minutes. This removes some of its bitterness. Drain well.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the escarole and the undrained beans. Season with the salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes. Serve hot.

 

Escarole has very few calories, lots of fiber, and a huge amount of vitamin A and vitamin K. Vitamin A is great for your skin and helps protect against lung and mouth cancers.