Dinner Tonight: Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes Recipe

Nick Kindelsperger

With the cold weather sinking in and the holiday decor up, all I can think about are stews for dinner. As with week's acorn squash with shrimp and green bean stew, it doesn't have to involve tons of meat. The combination of greens and beans might not sound like a winner but with some extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of good Parmesan, they manage to taste meaty and satisfying.

This recipe from Food & Wine manages to oddly taste comforting and labored over, even though it's impossibly easy to make. I guess I should expect nothing less from a personal recipe of Joe Bastianich who has opened a few great restaurants in New York (like Babbo and Otto) and whose mother is a certain Lidia Bastianich.

Sometimes you think you have Italian cuisine sussed out and then something truly humble like this comes along and makes you fall in love all over again.


  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, larger stems removed, and leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan


  1. Fill a large pot halfway up with water. Bring to a boil and then toss in the swiss chard leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Drain the chard in a colander.

  2. Wipe out any excess water in the pot. Then pour in the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the tomatoes, turn the heat to medium-high, and when the mixture comes to a boil add the beans. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the chard. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add some grated Parmesan to finish.