You can serve this dish as an entrée. I like to use surdough or Italian bread. The beans can be cooked one day in advance but make the broccoli rabe just before you serve. —Maria Teresa Jorge
What You'll Need
broccoli rabe washed and shredded in medium pieces
slices of smoked bacon
dry white beans
garlic cloves whole with pink skin on
garlic clove, inside green part removed and chopped finely
black and white pepper, freshly ground
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for broccoli rabe
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for beans
slices of Italian surdough bread
garlic clove whole peeled for bread
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for bread
Wash the dry beans and soak them in water overnight.
In a large pot, put the soaked beans, cover with water, add the 2 whole garlic cloves, the sage leaves and 2 tablepoons of olive oil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, Add salt and cook a further 5 to 10 minutes or until the beans are well cooked but not falling apart.
Discard the sage leaves and the garlic cloves, drain the beans and keep warm. You can reserve the water to use in a soup.
In a sautée pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry the bacon slices on both sides until crispy and golden brown. Remove the bacon and drain on kitchen paper towel. Break in pieces and reserve.
Discard the bacon oil, clean the pan with some paper towel and add the remaining olive oil. When warm, add the garlic, sautée until it starts to sizzle, add the broccoli rabe and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, stir to mix well.
Cut the bread in slices and lightly grill the bread. Cut a little end of the garlic clove so you have a flat surface, very lightly rub the raw garlic clove on each grilled bread slice (one side only), drizzle with a little olive oil. Cut the bread slices in 2 pieces, add some broccoli rabe on each slice, sprinkle with the fried bacon and add a tablespoon of cooked beans on top.
Season with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.