Sauteed Cabbage and Beans

Sauteed Cabbage and Beans

This dish has been a favorite in my family since as long as I can remember.  Growing up, we had a huge garden in our backyard that was tended to by my great grandparents and grandparents (us as well when we were needed!).  I look back at it as my great grandparents and grandparents bringing a little piece of Italy back with them to the United States.  We had fig trees, apricot trees, pear trees, peach trees, a cherry tree, and every type of veggie or herb you could possible want.  You name it, we had it! Looking back, I realize how lucky and spoiled I was with fresh food.  It was the epitome of farm to table eating.  I don't think we shopped for produce at all when the garden was in bloom! 

 I remember a time when I was heading back to college after a weekend at home with my family (must have been 1998 or 1999?), my grandfather took me into the garden and asked me if there was anything I needed.  He didn't even let me answer, he just got to work preparing bags of fresh produce to bring back with me to school.  I was living in a house with some school friends so thankfully I had access to a full kitchen!  After he filled bags with fresh Italian peppers, basil, tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, etc., he handed me a huge Savoy cabbage.  I looked at him in disbelief! It was seriously the biggest cabbage I had ever seen! I said, "what am I supposed to do with this?!" Seriously, it was huge.  He laughed, gave me his signature warm smile and said, "just saute it with some garlic and oil".  I got back to college and did just that.  I was eating sauteed cabbage for a week straight and I loved it.  To this day, that was the best tasting head of cabbage I have had.  Below is my new and improved recipe.  I have added beans to make it into more of a meal and I think that they pair well with it! 

Sauteed Cabbage and Beans

4 to 6 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 to 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 small heads of either savoy or green cabbage (or one large), cored and shredded
1 15 ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth (if needed)
Himalayan salt 
fresh ground pepper

Heat the oil over low to medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add your crushed red pepper, onions, and a sprinkling of salt.  Once your onions are starting to brown, add your garlic and saute for a minute.  Once the garlic is fragrant, add in your cabbage, another sprinkling of salt, and some fresh ground pepper.  Stir so the cabbage is coated with the mixture in the bottom of the pan and cover.  Cook for 25-30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is cooked through but not gushy!  If your cabbage is on the dry side, feel free to add a bit of water or vegetable broth.  Stir in your beans and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, partially covered. Sprinkle with some freshly grated Romano cheese and serve with some crusty bread! Enjoy! 

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipe by Becky Loves Cooking


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