White Beans with Escarole
- ACTIVE: 35 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN
- SERVINGS: 12
"I cribbed this salad from my grandmother Nonna," Maria Helm Sinskey says. "She'd toss leftover beans with greens and lemon juice." This version has toasted croutons; the lemon juice is mixed into a refreshing dressing.
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 pound pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Two 1-inch-thick slices of peasant bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups), toasted
- Two 1-pound heads of escarole, tough dark leaves discarded, inner leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- In a bowl, combine the shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar. Season with salt and pepper; let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in 6 tablespoons of the oil. Transfer 1/4 cup of the dressing to a bowl, add the beans and parsley and let stand for 30 minutes.
- In a skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet, then stir in the toasted bread and toss to coat.
- Add the bread to the beans with the escarole and remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper, toss and serve.
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