Bimpy's Escarole & Beans

Somehow, there's always a pot of escarole and beans on the stovetop at Bimpy’s house. This is likely because it was a favorite of my dear Uncle Phil who lived with Bimpy. Uncle Phil passed away unexpectedly last year, and now when I miss him (which is often), I make escarole and beans in his honor. You would have loved Uncle Phil, and I know you'll love his favorite escarole and beans. 


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:


2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

Red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

2 big heads escarole, rinsed and rough chopped

3 15oz cans cannellini beans 

6 cups chicken stock

Crusty bread

Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese


WHAT YOU'LL DO:


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. Sauté 6 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, red pepper, salt and pepper until nice and fragrant.


In a separate pot, salt water and bring to a boil. Drop in all the escarole and boil until bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Save 2 cups of escarole water and set aside. Strain escarole. 


Add strained escarole and the 3 cans of beans (including liquid, do not rinse beans!) to pot with oil & garlic mix. Add 6 cups of chicken stock and as much escarole water as you like (use more or less depending on how soupy you want this dish to be) and simmer until beans are heated through. 


Taste and adjust seasonings. 


Serve per Bimpy’s recommendation: “Over a nice chunk of crusty bread with parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and then say good-bye to your mother-in-law!”


Make it step-by-step with me below!


LET'S DO THIS ONE STEP AT A TIME:

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pot. Sauté 6 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, red pepper, salt and pepper until nice and fragrant.

This should smell amazing. If it doesn't, you absolutely did something wrong.

2. Rough chop your 2 heads of escarole.

3. Drop escarole in a pot of salted boiling water and boil until bright green, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Save 2 cups of escarole water and set aside.

5. Strain escarole. 

6. Add strained escarole to pot with oil & garlic mix.  

7. Add all 3 cans of beans (including liquid, do not rinse beans!) to pot with escarole.

8. Add 6 cups of chicken stock and as much escarole water as you like (use more or less depending on how soupy you want this dish to be) and simmer until beans are heated through.

9. Taste and adjust seasonings. 

10. Serve per Bimpy’s recommendation: “Over a nice chunk of crusty bread with parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and then say good-bye to your mother-in-law!”