Garlic-Braised Dandelion Greens with White Bean Puree and Crispy Pancetta
- 3 cups cooked white beans, such as navy or cannelini, drained
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon chicken broth
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 pound fresh young dandelion greens, tough ends trimmed, well washed
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Chopped parsley leaves, for serving
- Chopped fresh thyme leaves, for serving
- Kosher salt, for serving
- 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges, for serving
In a food processor combine the beans, 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and process until mostly smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and set aside, covered at room temperature, until ready to serve. (If beans are still warm they may be served with warm dandelion greens.)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and all of the fat has been rendered, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper lined plate to drain and set aside. Reduce the heat to low and allow rendered fat to cool slightly. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until garlic is lightly golden around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens and remaining chicken broth and cover the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until greens are wilted. Uncover the pan and add the sugar and salt to taste. Stir to thoroughly combine. Cover the pan and continue to cook until the greens are tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. The greens may be served warm or at room temperature.
When ready to serve, divide the bean puree evenly among 6 appetizer or entree plates. Divide the greens among the plates, arranging them around the bean puree. Drizzle each plate with 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil and a pinch of chopped parsley, a pinch of chopped thyme, and a pinch of kosher salt. Divide the reserved crispy pancetta evenly among the plates and serve each plate with a lemon wedge for guests to squeeze over the greens and bean puree, as desired.
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