Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baked Beans with Swiss Chard - Fagioli e Bietola al Forno

Beans and Swiss chard just married...and what a perfect union.  The dark-green Swiss chard loaded with vitamins and minerals united with healthy beans creates a nutrition powerhouse.  The small amount of ham gives this casserole rich flavor without adding much fat.

Baked beans with Swiss chard
Images: ©2012 - La Casa e Il Giardino -picasaweb

1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch of Swiss chard, upper portion of stems removed and leaves chopped
1 cup lean ham (optional)
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 cups of cooked beans.    I prefer Great Northern beans. 
                                                 Use 3 small cans of your favorite beans.
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Cooking beans

Preheat the oven at 375*.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper.  Cook until soft, stirring occasionally. 

Add the chard, ham and 1/4 cup of water and cook until chard is wilted.  Add the tomatoes and their juice and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the cooked beans and their water, parsley and thyme and simmer for few more minutes.

Adjust salt and pepper.  Transfer the vegetables into a large baking dish.  Cover and bake for 40 minutes.  Then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

This casserole is delicious and satisfying even without the meat.

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