Curly Endive and Cannellini Beans
This is a good accompaniment for stronger tasting meats such as pork or lamb. I use wild field chicory which is related to dandelion, but you can use any bitter leaves such as batavia, curly endive or frisee.
Cicoria e Fagioli
- 200g (7 oz) dried cannelloni beans, or 1 x 425g (15 oz) can cannelloni beans
- 400g (14 oz) curly endive, bataiva or dandelion leave, washed
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 small dried red chillies, crumbled
- 600ml (1 pint) water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the dried beans to soak for 12 hours or more in a large bowl (they increase in size). Drain them and boil for two hours in fresh unsalted water. Salt at the end of the cooking time. If using canned beans drain them from their liquid and rinse them before use. Wash the endive and cut it up into short lengths.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, fry the garlic without browning, and then add the endive and chillies. Keeping the heat high, stir-fry for a minute or two, coating the endive with the oil, then add the drained cannelloni beans, some salt and the water. If you are using canned beans you will find they will absorb less liquid, so reduce the amount of water slightly. Bring to the boil, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat. Simmer until the endive is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, but the consistency is still slightly soupy.