Stews often have the connotation of being overly heavy, but this white bean stew is actually fairly light, thanks to its veggie-based profile.
This stew features three different greens -- spinach, arugula, and kale -- which are seasoned with a mix of shallots and garlic, a touch of smoked paprika, and two secret ingredients that add a hefty dose of umami: a rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and some richly flavored Mediterranean anchovies. Together, the ingredients form a stew that has a rich flavor but is light on calories, and perhaps best of all, only takes 30 minutes to make.
The key protein of this stew isn't meat but giant white beans -- gigante beans, as they're known in Greece--are enormous white beans with a creamy texture and a unique ability to hold their shape fairly well, even after cooking. This stew starts with a base of cooked beans that are simmered for 30 additional minutes with the seasonings, allowing them to release just enough creaminess to thicken the stew.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 2 large oil-packed Mediterranean anchovies or Pacific sardines choose based on what's available and sustainable
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 1/2 cups cooked jumbo white beans gigante or lima
- 1 cup water
- 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
- 5 kale leaves de-stemmed and finely chopped
- 1 cup raw baby spinach chopped
- 1 cup raw arugula chopped
- Place the anchovies in a pan and heat slowly over medium heat. Use a wooden spatula to crush the anchovies into a paste. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the paprika and stir to combine for about 30 seconds, then add the white beans, the water, and the cheese rind. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook as needed until the broth has reduced to the consistency you like. Remove the cheese rind and add the kale, spinach, and arugula. Stir until just wilted, then remove from the heat.
- Serve as-is or drizzled with chili-infused oil.