Beans and Greens
Recipe and photo by Brud Holland
Beans and greens can be made just about any time of year with whatever greens happen to be available. Ramps give that unique seasonal flavor note and stand in where you might often see minced garlic. Add a few Cayuga Pure Organics beans, a little “back bacon,” some Verjooz pickled eggs and a dusting of Bel Ciello, and you have the makings of tasty cross between a salad and a soup. Thanks to Alex and Emma down at Hector Wine Company, I got preview (a tank sample, that is) of their 2014 vintage Sauvignon Blanc. It’s crisp, refreshing and full of citrus notes that balance out a really delicious, subtle undertone of pineapple.
Wine pairing recommendation: Hector Wine Company Sauvignon Blanc
3/4 cup Verjooz
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
12 ounces back bacon (or Canadian bacon), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion sliced thin
1 cup sliced ramps
1 cup cooked white beans (I like cannellini beans)
16 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc
2 tablespoons fresh leaf parsley
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A small chunk of Muranda Bel Ciello, for grating
Hard boil the eggs: In a saucepan, bring eggs to a boil from cold water. Boil for 10 minutes. Cool and peel.
Place the eggs in a small container. Add 1/2 cup Verjooz and water. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
In a large skillet on medium high heat, add the butter and back bacon and cook until it begins to brown. Stir and continue cooking until it is firm to the touch and 145°. Remove the back bacon and set aside.
Add the onions and cook until soft and transparent, about 1-2 minutes. Add the ramps, beans and back bacon, then continue cooking stirring occasionally for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the spinach, wine, remaining Verjooz and parsley. Stir continuously until the spinach turns dark green. Season with salt and pepper. Divide into large bowls using tongs.
Drain and chop the pickled eggs. Garnish greens and beans mixture with pickled eggs and grated Bel Ciello and serve.
Brud Holland is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and lives in Watkins Glen with his wife Shari and 3 kids. Having been part of the food and wine scene here in the Finger Lakes for 30+ years, he draws on experiences from a wide variety of culinary escapades that include bakery owner, restaurateur, food product developer, teacher, and genuine promoter of all things grown and made in the Finger Lakes.