Escarole and chickpeas: Greens and beans

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farfalle pasta with greens and chickpeas
Photo by Jessica Grann

By Jessica Grann

Greens and beans is a classic Italian dish that is quick to make and full of vitamins and protein. Escarole, which tastes slightly more bitter than spinach, is a different ingredient to add into your leafy green vegetable rotation.


I like this recipe because it can be easily adapted to work with a vegan or lacto-vegetarian diet, and you can also add it to pasta, which is very satisfying.

This recipe serves 3-4, cooks in less than 20 minutes and can easily be doubled for a larger crowd.

  • 1 head of escarole, washed, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 can of cannellini beans or 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3-5 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon of pareve Osem consomme mix
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Optional: ½ pound (half a box) of small pasta like farfalle or rotini cooked according to package and drained
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

If you’re going to make this with pasta, start cooking the pasta first so it is ready to mix in as soon as the greens and beans are finished.

Place a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil to warm, then add in the beans or chickpeas a minute later.

Saute, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes before stirring in the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes.

Stir and cook for 1 more minute before adding in the escarole, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Raise the heat to medium and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the escarole is wilted.

Add the consomme, water and salt and allow to cook until the liquid reduces, another 4-5 minutes.

You can serve this immediately, or if you wish to add it to the pasta, stir in pasta and add another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired, but it’s a wonderful dish if you wish to make it vegan. Enjoy and bless your hands!

Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh. This originally ran in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.

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