Beans and greens has it all: it's very easy and inexpensive to make; it's highly nutritious; it's soulful and comforting; and it can be served as a main course, side dish, soup, vegetable stew, or my personal favorite--as an appetizer. This is my new favorite home version, and uses delicious, beautiful escarole.

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until bubbling and sizzling, about 20 seconds. Pour in chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes.

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  • Stir in beans; bring to a boil and cook until you can see the tops of the beans just below the surface of the liquid, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in oregano, lemon zest, and anchovy filet. Simmer for 3 minutes.

  • Place escarole in bean mixture; reduce heat to low and stir until escarole wilts, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; garnish with red pepper flakes and extra virgin olive oil.

Editor's Note:

Chef John serves this with his Parma Crisps.

Nutrition Facts

203 calories; protein 7.8g 16% DV; carbohydrates 24.8g 8% DV; fat 8g 12% DV; cholesterol 3.9mg 1% DV; sodium 1006.6mg 40% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (84)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
06/28/2012
Excellent recipe as is. I chopped up 4 slices of bacon and sauted them until light brown. Used the rendered fat with less olive oil to saute the garlic and 1 chopped onion. At the end I added 1.5 tbsp. red wine vinegar and 2 tsp. sugar. Read More
(22)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
05/14/2020
This is so very healthy! With the Parma Crisps, it's a good light weekday meal, and very quick to prepare. It's not my favorite Chef John recipe, but a solid choice if you're in a pinch and don't want to resort to whatever your normal go-to meal is. Read More
108 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 89
  • 4 star values: 14
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
06/28/2012
Excellent recipe as is. I chopped up 4 slices of bacon and sauted them until light brown. Used the rendered fat with less olive oil to saute the garlic and 1 chopped onion. At the end I added 1.5 tbsp. red wine vinegar and 2 tsp. sugar. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
09/18/2012
"I grew up eating my family's escarole and beans but never wrote down a recipe. Sorry mom but this recipe is better than yours! I rarely say that! :-o) Do NOT omit the anchovies; they're included for flavor and you won't taste "anchovy" but you will taste wonderful rich, creamy deliciousness. The only changes I made to this were to add sausage at the beginning before the garlic and to increase the anchovy fillets to three (yes, 3, try it, dare you to!). Thanks Chef John! Amazing! Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
10/03/2012
This went over really well with my family. I cooked my own beans instead of using canned. My anchovy did not fully break apart so I would recommend mashing it some before adding it to the soup. I would also recommend that you reduce the stock until you like the flavor as this will be the main part of the soup. Not all stock has the same intensity. My only real change is that I used spinach instead of escarole. This soup came out great and I would make again. Read More
(18)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/02/2012
John You have no idea how much you have improved meal time at our house. Your recipes are simple but profound and very delicious. I love anchovies but had some honey baked ham I had to use up, so that was my protein for this dish. I will use anchovies next time. Keep 'em coming. And thank you. Marjorie Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
02/28/2013
O.M.G. DELICIOUS!!! The best soup/stoup I've ever made. Only tweek was I added a small minced onion and cooked that with the garlic I minced as well (via the food processor) till onion was soft. When adding the anchovy mince for optimal distribution. I used homemade chicken stock and didn't want to waste the good chicken so I added some of that just because. This is now my #1 hearty soup recipe. Thanks Chef John. A winner in my book! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
06/11/2012
These are delicious!! I didn't have an anchovy fillet so added an extra pinch of salt but it really didn't need it. I added a big pinch of red pepper to while cooking and an additional pinch to the finished product and it was great! served it with fresh French bread which was SOOOO yummy dipped in the juice. will 100% be making this again...and again...and again:D Read More
(13)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/03/2014
This is the most delicious greens recipe I have ever tasted. I am using turnip greens. In the last month we have had it three times. The lemon jest adds just the right amount of snap and the usual addition of bacon grease to greens is not missed. As Chef John says, you don't realize you haven't had meat. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
10/12/2013
Like someone else here said, she grew up eating this as a child and my wife learned to make it from my mother. Well, sorry to say, both died and i never knew exactly how to make this. So thanks to Chef John for this recipe, i made it and it tasted just like when i was a kid and when my wife used to make it. So, again Chef John, thank you. __Mr Sal Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
08/25/2013
Chef John I've enjoyed playing with this recipe! This time I rendered nitrate free bacon. After removing the bacon from the pan I removed the fatty parts and chopped the lean pieces to add later. I sauteed 1 yellow onion 1 tsp curry powder and the garlic in the fat. Once the onions were caramelized I added Trader Joe's low sodium vegetable stock seasonings and liquid smoke. After reducing per your recipe I added the beans a can of Glory seasoned collard greens I had on hand and some leftover (cooked) turkey meatballs. The chopped bacon went into the pot in the final few minutes. Yum! Talk about amazing flavor and pretty healthy to boot. Read More
(8)
Rating: 3 stars
05/14/2020
This is so very healthy! With the Parma Crisps, it's a good light weekday meal, and very quick to prepare. It's not my favorite Chef John recipe, but a solid choice if you're in a pinch and don't want to resort to whatever your normal go-to meal is. Read More