1 lb. small white beans
handful of fresh sage leves (try using the whole bunch)
1 head garlic
3-4 Tbs good olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 lb. fresh green Swiss chard (~1 bunch)
juice of 2 lemons
additional olive oil
Presoak beans for a few hours or overnight.
Drain beans and put them in a large, shallow skillet with enough fresh water to cover by 1 inch.
Peel the garlic and chop the large cloves very coarsely. Add the garlic, sage, and half the oil to the beans.
Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the beans gently until tender. (This may take from 1 hour to an afternoon). Do not stir the beans more than 2 or 3 times, and then very gently with a wooden spoon. Add more water if needed.
When beans are beginning to feel tender, add 2 teaspoons of salt.
Meanwhile, clean chard and remove stems. Cut leaves into 1 inch strips.
Add chard to beans when beans are just becoming soft, and continue simmering until beans are done.
Stir in other half of oil and more salt if needed, and grind in some pepper.
Allow to cool slightly. Squeeze in some lemon juice, taste, and add more until it has the right balance. I recommend 2 lemons.
Serve at about room temperature, in a wide, deep platter. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.
6, if big meal component; more if side dish
The New Vegetarian Epicure, pg. 219