Whoa. Did someone say “cannellini beans"? Get out of town. I'm a city boy who's constantly on the go, so all I crave when I return to my apartment is a meal full of these kidney-shaped cuties. It's even better if it takes me approximately five seconds to make, just so I can decay on my couch for the night's remainder until it’s time for work the next morning.
"Are you always on the lookout for quick and easy weeknight dinners?" asks EmilyC, scribe of Roasted Sausage, Chard, and Cannellini Beans, this good-as-hell recipe. You bet, EmilyC. Now here's a meal that covers all the food group bases, like "sausage" and "chard" and "bean." And it lets you have some fun. Dress some chards up. Add in some beans. Season. "Get your hands wet," as they say. Toss some sausage coins in there like it's the Trevi Fountain.
Mosey on over to your nearest grocery with this list in hand. I’ve organized it for you by area of the market.
1 bunch Swiss chard. Get ready to remove the stems and ribs before you tear their leaves into 2-inch pieces.
1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed—should be about 16-19 ounces, roughly 2 cups.
Some finely-grated lemon zest, along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice from 1 lemon. Don't get too greedy; make sure to leave some extra juice around for finishing the dish.
Some finely-grated Parmesan or pecorino.
16 ounces—that's roughly three or four links—of some chicken or pork sausage. You'll have to remove them from their casings and slice them into 3/4-inch pieces; you can also use pre-cooked sausages, like I do.
We're assuming you already have 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika in your arsenal—if not, add these to your list, too.
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Now here's where the fun begins. About 30 minutes before dinner, crank up your oven to 400° F. Get your largest casserole, baking dish, or oven-safe skillet out and toss the chard and cannellini beans together in it. Add a pinch of salt. Some pepper. Have fun with it. If the chard-to- bean ratio looks mighty high to you, chill out: That's how it's supposed to be.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together that lemon juice and zest, mustard, paprika, and olive oil. You're going to want to combine this concoction with the chard and cannellini mash-up you've got going on and then toss, toss, toss them all together. Coat evenly and generously. That's it. Atta boy.
Now it's time for some distribution. Lay out the chard and beans in one layer in the dish; spread it. Chuck the little sausage medallions atop the bed of chard-n'-beans, tuck them in like you would your child the night before the first day of kindergarten. Stick it in the oven. Let it roast. Twenty minutes is fine; 25 minutes, tops. Make sure the chard gets tender in there, crispy at the edges, before you take it out. Is the sausage pink? Ahh! Put it back in! (You paranoid about this part? Same—you can toss the mixture about halfway through cooking time to check on things.)
You, if the sausage is still pink after all that time in the oven
When it's all done, remove it from the oven and give it a taste. Chew a little. If you need to, you can add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice "to taste." Otherwise, sprinkle it with some of that grated Parmesan or pecorino you've got, and serve while it's still warm. This won't work unless you scream, "Come get it while it's still hot, kids!" If you've only got that special someone, let's go with, "Supper's getting cold, hunny!" Why not pair it with a smooch?
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.