Cannellini Beans with Herbs and Ham

Cannellini Beans w Herbs & Ham 6-12Create a unique contrast of hot thick cannellini bean soup and crisp cool greens. Add a glass of chilled white wine and garlic bread and you’re good-to-go for lunch or a light dinner that’s sure to please the palate while raising a few questions like, “Is it hard to make? Can I have the recipe?” or “Where did you get the recipe?” You might even have someone call it saloup, which in my vocabulary means “somore!”

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced Italian tomatoes (undrained)
2 15-ounce cans cannellini or white Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 ounces smoke ham, smoked turkey or crisp bacon, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups fresh spinach greens or mixed baby greens, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, garnish

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; add the garlic and sauté for 45 seconds. Stir in sage and thyme; add tomatoes. Turn heat up to medium-high and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the beans; simmer until juices evaporate and reduce by half, which will be about 5 minutes. Turn off heat; stir in ham or bacon and allow it to sit long enough to heat all the way through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange spinach on individual serving plates or onto one large platter; spoon bean mixture over the greens. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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