Red Chard, Potato and White Bean Ragout
Recipe type: Main Dish
By Martha Rose Shulman New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/health/nutrition/10recipehealth.html?ref=health This comforting stew makes a hearty meal when served with a salad and crusty bread.
- 1 cup dried white beans, soaked for 6 hours or overnight in 1 quart water
- A bouquet garni made with 1 bay leaf, a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, and a Parmesan rind, tied together with kitchen string
- 1 generous bunch red chard (3/4 to 1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), sliced
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Drain the beans and combine with 1 quart of fresh water in a casserole or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer. Skim off any foam, then add the bouquet garni. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
- Meanwhile, stem and clean the red chard leaves in 2 changes of water. Rinse the stems and dice. Set aside. Cut the leaves in ribbons, or coarsely chop, and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the onion and chard stems. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes and stir together, then transfer to the pot with the beans. Bring back to a simmer, cover and simmer 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and beans are tender. Salt to taste.
- Add the chard and thyme leaves to the pot, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. The chard should be very tender. Stir in freshly ground pepper to taste and the parsley. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve, passing the Parmesan to sprinkle on the top.
- Advance preparation: The dish will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. If you are making it ahead, make it through Step 3 and proceed with Step 4 shortly before serving, so that the color of the chard doesn’t fade too much.