These New England staples combine for a memorable winter supper that is packed with flavor and nutrition.
Our family’s favorite green in the garden when we were growing up was Swiss chard, and it remains one of my personal favorites to this day. In addition to being tasty, it is easy to grow, you can cut it and it will come again all season, and it is hardy and will continue to grow under a cold frame well into winter. Full of nutrition, it is also beautiful, with green, orange, yellow, and ruby red stems to brighten any meal. Who could ask for more from a tiny little seed?
Add some rubies
I used the ruby red Swiss chard with its vibrant ribs here, but you can use any chard, it comes in so many jewel tones! But in a pinch, you can use spinach or other green that will wilt nicely. It won’t have the same flavor, but it will still be delicious.
Let’s cook some beans
This is a hearty winter supper or lunch that is really quick to put together if the beans are cooked. If not, the beans only take about 45 minutes from start to finish in a pressure cooker, and it’s mostly hands-off. Make a big pot and you’ll have plenty to use in other dishes the rest of the week, or freeze them. I’ve used the New England staple yellow-eyes with their robust and unique flavor, but you can substitute a favorite local bean if you like, or even canned in a pinch.
Yes, you can use misfits
The potatoes here were small white-fleshed, red- and blue-skinned varieties from my local farm winter CSA, different sizes I trimmed up, but use what you have on hand. This is a great dish for using up all those odd sizes of potatoes in the bin, especially the little red potatoes or tiny fingerlings.
Swiss Chard with Potatoes and Yellow-Eyed Beans
- 1 ½ lbs. potatoes, bite-sized chunks
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, the leaves, large ribs removed
- Same bunch of Swiss chard, the stems and thick ribs, sliced on the diagonal
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 purple onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 2 heaping tbsp. grainy mustard
- 3 cups yellow eyed beans, cooked, with some of their juice
- 1 tbsp. cider vinegar, optional
Clean up potatoes, but don’t bother to peel them unless there is green under the peels. Cut into bite sized chunks and place in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender.
Heat a large skillet over medium high and add the olive oil. Sauté the onion until soft, then add the garlic and the stems. Continue cooking until everything is tender, then deglaze the pan with the wine and add the mustard and the tops of the greens. Cook just until wilted.
Drain the potatoes and add them to the pot along with the beans. Mix everything together gently and taste for salt and pepper. Serve with a little pat of butter!
If you like, sprinkle it all with a tablespoon of cider vinegar; that’s what mom would do.
Yellow Eyed Beans, Pressure Cooked
Mom always cooked her beans in her trusty pressure cooker. I used my instant pot here, but you can use a regular pressure cooker as well, or the boil and simmer method below.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 lb. yellow-eyed beans
- 1 ½ quarts water
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
Sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Add the garlic and cook another half minute or so.
Add the beans, water, and salt, and cover. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes and let naturally release.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker:
Soak the beans overnight in salted water. In the morning, drain the beans and add them to a large pot where you have sautéed the onion and garlic. Add the water and salt, bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the beans are tender. This will take around 1 ½ to 2 hours depending on the age of the beans.
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