Recipe of the Week: Sausage and white beans with mustard greens
After such a big week of cooking (and eating all those Thanksgiving leftovers), you might be ready for some simpler meals this week.
This recipe from "The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day" by America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, $34.99) starts by browning sausages and then cooking onions and garlic in the same pan, which picks up some of the fat and fond left over from the meat.
Add a little white wine, tomatoes and chicken (or leftover turkey) broth, and you're well on your way to a savory, comforting meal. Feel free to substitute any kind of sausage you like, including a vegan sausage, and whatever greens you might have in the garden or vegetable crisper.
You could cook dried cannellini beans from scratch, but canned beans make this dish come together quickly and without much forethought. After all the fore-thinking we've been doing lately, your mind might need a little break.
Sausage and White Beans with Mustard Greens
The south of France is known for its rich stews that combine meaty sausage, creamy white beans and fresh greens. Drawing inspiration from them, we wanted to make a stew that put the sausage in the forefront. Since authentic French garlic sausage was difficult to find, we cast around for an alternative. Sweet Italian sausage, which is very flavorful and easy to get, was a perfect substitute.
We started by creating flavorful browning on the sausage before sweating our aromatics — onion, tomatoes, garlic and thyme — in the leftover fat. We then cooked down savory chicken broth and a healthy splash of white wine before adding the beans. Using canned cannellini beans eliminated an overnight soak. For the greens, we enjoyed the peppery spice of mustard greens, which we gently wilted before braising them. To finish, a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs and parsley added pleasant crunch and freshness.
- America's Test Kitchen
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained with juice reserved
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
12 ounces mustard greens, stemmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Prick sausages with fork in several places. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown sausages well on all sides, about 8 minutes; transfer to plate.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in thyme and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and reserved tomato juice, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to simmer.
Stir in mustard greens and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Place sausages on top of greens. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until greens are wilted and reduced in volume by about half, about 10 minutes.
Uncover, increase heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sausages are cooked through and greens are tender, about 15 minutes. Off heat, using back of spoon, mash portion of beans against side of pot to thicken sauce. Serve, sprinkling individual portions with breadcrumbs and parsley. Serves 4 to 6.
- From "The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day" by America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, $34.99)
Addie Broyles writes about food for the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, Texas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @broylesa