Escarole with Caramelized Onions and Beans


This tasty recipe was developed by friend and dietitian colleague Regina Ragone. Her grandparents were from a very poor region of Southern Italy so their whole diet was based on inexpensive leafy greens and protein in the form of beans, lentils and eggs. She grew up eating delicious dishes like Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans), Chickpea Soup and Escarole and Beans not because they were good for her as she told me but because that was dinner. She realized how lucky she was to be exposed to such incredible food and always wants to share just how delicious vegetables, beans and legumes can be. Using beans as an ingredient for main dishes is a foreign concept to most Americans but there's no disputing they are a scrumptious yet economical source of protein and fiber. Here’s one dish that might convince you to give it a try.


Escarole with Caramelized Onions and Beans

Makes 4 main dish servings or 8-10 bariatric servings 

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 20-25 minutes

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia; about 1 pound), thinly sliced

1 large bunch bunch escarole (about 1-1/2 pounds), washed and torn into pieces

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 15 1/2 - ounce can cannellini beans, undrained 

Parmesan cheese optional but highly recommended


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until golden. Lower heat and add a tablespoon of broth or water if onion is browning too quickly.

2. Add escarole, cook, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until leaves are tender and stem ends are still crunchy. Sprinkle with salt.

3. Stir in beans with their liquid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until heated through. 

Divide into 4 bowls and top with freshly grated cheese, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

(per serving for each of 4 servings; divide in half for 8 servings)

180 calories

3.5 g fat

.5 sat fat

28 g carb

10 g fiber

9 g pro

460 mg sodium

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