Friday, August 6, 2010

White Beans with Italian Sausage and Chard

There's something about cannellini beans that make my mouth water.  It's the texture maybe, or the mild, yet satisfying flavor.  I love their versatility and the way that any dish containing them takes on a hearty, rustic tone.  They're substantial, yet their creamy color presents a sort of elegance to a meal.

This is an incredibly simple and flavorful dish using chard that is so abundant at the market right now, spicy Italian sausage, and plenty of fresh herbs in a light vegetable broth.  Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and a good olive oil for dipping. 

Buon appetito! (a little Italian for ya :)

White Beans with Italian Sausage and Chard
serves 3-4

1 T. olive oil
1 medium leek, sliced (white and light green parts only)
1/2 lb. (approx.) spicy Italian sausage (I recommend hitting up your local farmers for the best quality meat)
2 C. cannellini beans, cooked
1 bunch chard, roughly chopped
2 T. chopped, fresh basil
2 T. chopped, fresh oregano
1 1/4 C. vegetable broth
cayenne pepper
salt to taste*

If you're using uncooked sausage, poach them in simmering water until about 3/4 cooked, about 8 minutes.  Remove them from the water and slice 3/4 - 1 inch thick.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium and add the leeks.  Saute until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the sausage slices, 1 C. broth and a dash of cayenne.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Add the fresh herbs and the chard, cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is wilted.  Season with salt and more cayenne if desired.  Serve hot.

*If the broth you use contains salt, you may not need any extra.  Be careful with the shaker so you don't end up with an over-salted dish.


  1. now that looks delicious!! all those lovely white beans, the chard and sausage....a marriage made in little Italy!

  2. um... when do you add the beans?

    1. Whoops! Thanks for catching that mistake. You'll want to add the cooked beans when you add the chard and herbs, near the end of the cooking process. That way the beans won't get overcooked and mushy.



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