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  • Writer's pictureSara Calderon

Spicy Beans and Wilted Greens

Spicy Beans and Wilted Greens
Photo by Ditte Isager

This recipe is an easy to make, meat-free, weeknight dinner! It's also a great way to use winter greens like kale, collards, spinach, or chard. Any leafy green you like can be substituted. The anchovies are optional but really give so much flavor to the dish if you're willing to use them. They're also very nutritious!


  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained (optional)

  • 4 chiles de árbol or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Parmesan rind (optional), plus shaved Parmesan for serving

  • 1 lb. dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained (or use 4 cans of beans)

  • 1 bunch kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped

  • 1 bunch large flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup trimmed arugula

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook anchovies, chiles, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft and anchovies are dissolved, about 4 minutes.

  2. Add onion, celery, and rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 8–10 minutes.

  3. Add Parmesan rind, beans, and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed, until beans are beginning to fall apart, about 2 hours.

  4. * If using canned beans, add only 5-6 cups of water and cook until beans begin to fall apart, 20-30 min.

  5. Lightly crush some beans to give stew a creamy consistency. Mix in kale, spinach, and arugula; season with salt and pepper.

  6. Cook until greens are wilted, 5–8 minutes. Divide stew among bowls; top with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of oil.

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